Will talk to Akalis on retail issue: BJP

Chandigarh: The decision of ally Shiromani Akali Dal to support the Centre`s move to allow FDI in multi- brand retail has left BJP in a quandary, with the party today saying that it will talk to its partner over the issue.

"We will talk to them," BJP vice-president and party`s Punjab unit in-charge, Shanta Kumar told reporters here.

BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal are partners in the Parkash Singh Badal-headed Punjab government.

When asked why SAD had supported the move, Kumar said they were a separate party and entitled to hold their own views and opinion over the issue.

However, when asked further on the issue, Kumar said, "Punjab government has been facing problem of storage (of crops) and they feel the Central government has not been helping them as desired…"

"We (SAD and BJP) can agree, disagree…they are entitled to their own opinion," he added.

In a letter to Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Thursday, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had supported the Centre`s move of opening FDI in multi- brand retail.

"Allowing FDI in retail is a big conspiracy where big corporates, MNCs, capitalists and vested interests will gain control as the government has succumbed to their pressure…

It`s a prelude to the days witnessed during the East India Company`s presence in the country," Kumar told reporters.

"The biggest danger which the country faces today is that our economic policies are not decided by the government, but by big corporates, vested interests and capitalists," he alleged.

The BJP leader, who served as Food Minister in the erstwhile Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, claimed that the then government did not succumb to the "pressure" of big corporates, MNCs and vested interests on the issue.

Kumar further said the move will create unemployment in the country and adversely affect thousands of traders in the sector.