With the BSP having indicated that it would bail out the UPA in the Parliament vote on allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday vehemently objected to the policy reform and appealed to the government to roll it back.
He said he was compelled to either give support to the Congress or take its support and any instability would be exploited by the RSS to help the BJP on this issue.
Yadav’s plea came as Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, in a rare political alignment, decided to vote against the government along with the Left and the BJP. Taking the wind out of the Left’s campaign, TMC leader Saugata Roy even moved a motion about the modification in the FEMA rules that allow FDI in multi-brand retail. The party has already issued a whip to vote for the motion, which means against the government.
“I have a special prayer to Sonia Gandhi to leave it right now,” Yadav said during the discussion on FDI in multi-brand retail in the Lok Sabha.
“Elections are drawing closer. These (BJP) people are very clever. RSS is spread across villages. You cannot imagine what they can do with their campaign. FDI is not going to get you any benefit during the elections.”
He, however, indicated his compulsion to do business with the Congress in future citing his limited influence in national politics, where the SP is contemplating making a bid for the prime minister’s post for Yadav after the next Lok Sabha polls.
“I know, we will not come to power. But we will give support to you or take support from you,” he said, referring to the SP’s need to remain in the good books of the Congress after the next elections.
While Yadav did not spell out how the SP would vote in the house, senior party leader Ram Gopal Yadav hinted that his party could walk out. “Staging a walkout is also a form of protest, you must recognize,” he said.
The Trinamool’s Roy, on the other hand, made a fiery speech attacking the government and alleging that the Congress was working at the behest of the US and corporate retailers of that country. “Are we selling our heads for a few pieces of silver?” he asked. “Like the East India company came as traders and became rulers of India, same thing will happen with FDI and Walmart (sic).”
Relief for the government came in the form of ally DMK deciding not to vote against the government even though it is opposed to FDI in retail. DMK leader T K S Elangovan said his party was strongly against FDI but “we will still not vote against you...we will not let you down. We will not join the opposition, we will not join the BJP...we will watch you and correct you”.