With eye on vote bank, BJP wants FDI in retail trashed

NEW DELHI (TIP): BJP has conveyed to the US that it is still firm in its opposition to FDI in multi-brand retail, a proposal which the government has decided to go ahead with after getting an approval from Parliament. BJP sources said the issue was flagged by US Ambassador Nancy J Powell when she called on party president Rajnath Singh yesterday.

Singh made it clear that his party is opposed to the proposal due to a host of reasons. The main Opposition is opposed to FDI in multi-brand retail primarily as it fears the small and medium traders, who form a bulk of its vote bank, would be affected if MNCs like Walmart, Tesco and Carrefour set up shop in India.

The Opposition was defeated in Parliament on the issue and the government has announced it will go ahead with the policy of allowing FDI in retail. During the 70-minute meeting, Singh expressed concern over the evolving security scenario in South Asia after the proposed withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan in 2014. “Keeping in mind the proposed withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan beginning in 2014, Singh also expressed his concerns over the evolving security scenario in the South Asian region,” BJP said in a statement.

Powell brought up the issue of partnership between the two nations in the fields of trade and technology. The issue of terrorism was also discussed. Singh highlighted the significance of warm and cordial bilateral ties between both the countries and emphasised on the need to increase mutual cooperation and collaboration. Vijay Jolly, Convener, Overseas/ Foreign Affairs of BJP, and Sudhansu Trivedi, Political Advisor to BJP National President, were present during the meeting with Powell.

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