By Shaifali Agrawal:
Tussle between Trinamool and Congress has been going on since a long time. Every next day we hear one defaming the other. It was expected that now Trinamool, a major UPA constituent will pull out its ministers from the Government in protest against allowing FDI in retail and diesel price hike, and give it outside support. As the Trinamool-Congress’s 72-hour deadline expired, Congress held negotiations and expressed the confidence of continuing a “working relationship“.
So on 18 September, after a 3-hour meeting at Kolkata, Mamata Banerjee’s party opted to withdraw support to UPA government on the issues of diesel price hike, LPG cap and the FDI multi-brand retail decisions by the Central Government. Her say is that the government is selling out our country. People are of the view that maybe this decision would help the country in fighting against such hikes and rise in prices.
But in 2004, even BJP’s agenda was to bring FDI in retail. Common people see what is projected. So, at a near future, it may seem that FDI in retail will harm the Indian farmers and sellers. But in fact, now, the foreign investments would happen in India, and also raw material would have to be bought by the Indian farmers and suppliers which would mean more business to common Indian people and manufacturing industry would also thrive.
Moreover, why did BJP not come forward when promotions in reservations were being discussed? So, it is all a vote-mongering strategy to oppose the Government now when actually, FDI retail is going to help India. So, Mamata Banerjee quit UPA in the hope that it will collapse and precipitate fresh elections. But most probably, it will survive, since the Trinamool Congress has 19 seats in the Lok Sabha, and can reduce the UPA, which currently has a strength of 273, to a minority; but Congress can take support of either the BSP (which has 21 seats) or the Samajwadi Party (which has 22). But even Samajwadi party is against the FDI in multi-brand retail.
Today, The Central government has suddenly loosened the restrictions on foreign direct investment (FDI) in several sectors including retail and civil aviation. But again this decision has been criticised, keeping in mind the timing it has been taken in; it is said that the decision is taken out of political expediency than genuine economics for the country.
So, in any way if the elections are held again, and there is a chance of deciding again on FDI and maybe reverting back the hikes, the political situation of India would be in a chaos. This could affect the foreign investments adversely since foreign investors need to feel assured while investing in a country; a wide opposition to that policy earlier, followed by a nation-wide bandh, might lead foreign investors not to invest in Indian economy in significant measure.