expunged from the records after the BJP objected. Amid heated exchanges between BJP and BSP members, the house had to be adjourned for 10 minutes.
Mayawati repeated her party’s objections to the FDI decision and asked the government to ensure that it does not hurt domestic industry and farmers. “Many people fear that this decision will adversely affect farmers, small traders, shopkeepers and artisans. I suggest that the UPA government undertake detailed studies which will establish whether FDI is good for the country or not...It is not good to act in haste while deciding such important matters,” she said.
“While there are many deficiencies in the government’s decision, the good thing about it is that it has been left to the states to decide whether they want these supermarkets or not. It is not being forced down the throats of states,” she said.
Accusing the government of betraying Parliament, BJP’s Venkaiah Naidu said the decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail was taken even without consulting allies and supporting parties. His remarks that the government did not consult even its “allies” such as the BSP and SP created a brief furore with BSP members taking objection to his description of BSP as an ally of the UPA.
The house witnessed angry exchanges between BSP and BJP members. Responding to Mayawati’s remarks that she did not want to be seen siding with communal forces, Naidu pointed out that the BJP had led a 23-party coalition government at the Centre and a host of parties were part of it. “People shared power with us three times...Different parties had alliances with the BJP...They enjoyed power...Today, they can’t take a stand that because BJP is opposing, we will support it. It will be ridiculous...people will be laughing at them,” he said.
Naidu also linked the BJP’s defeat in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections to its poll promise to open up the retail sector to FDI as he spiritedly opposed the government move. “NDA favoured 26 per cent FDI in 2004. We were defeated. You want that same fate to happen to you?” he asked.
He claimed the government hurriedly and without consultation with the opposition, allies and other parties announced the FDI move to divert attention from its policy paralysis. “Had proper consultations been done, this situation wouldn’t have arisen. You have not consulted CMs, political parties and others. How a minority government could take such