Shillong/Guwahati: The UPA government will not succumb to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail, central Power Minister M Veerappa Moily said on Monday.

"It is not a question of succumbing to this and that. We are living with our democracy and no one can stop us now," Moily told journalists in the Meghalaya capital.

"It (Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail) is a strong decision we have taken and this is going to transform the entire economic scenario in India," he added.

The Trinamool Congress chief has come out strongly against both the FDI and the hike in diesel price.

Allaying fears that farmers and consumers will affected by FDI, the Congress leader claimed that consumers would get competitive rates while farmers should get a matching price for their produce.

The Trinamool has called a meeting of its MPs Tuesday to decide the next course of action.

In Assam, Moily defended Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the coal saga.

The Prime Minister was in no way linked to the decision to give away coal blocks without competitive bidding, he said.

"The applications for coal block allocations were examined and evaluated by a Steering Committee with representatives from state governments, ministries of the central government and coal companies," Moily told the media at Rajiv Bhavan in Guwahati.

Moily also reviewed Assam's power situation with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Assam Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi.

The projects that came up for discussion included the Lower Subansiri Hydro Power Project and Bongaigaon Thermal Power Project as well as the implementation of the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Projects.

Chief Minister Gogoi said: "We have a shortage of 280 MW during peak hour and a shortage of 190 MW during off-peak hours. But if everything goes as planned, there will be no power cuts in Assam in a few years time."


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