DMK will support resolution against FDI in retail: Karuna

Chennai/Ranchi: In a jolt to UPA government, DMK, the second largest constituent in the central coalition, on Monday said it would back any opposition-sponsored resolution in Parliament against allowing FDI in multi-brand retail even as two MPs from Jharkand withdrew support.

DMK, which has 18 members in the Lok Sabha, on Monday shed its ambivalence and came out in the open against the FDI in retail decision and asked the government to reconsider it.

The party, which has been in a sulk after the forced exit of two of its ministers in the wake of corruption charges, has all along been saying saying that states opposed to FDI retail can choose not not to implement if they do not not want it.

However, party chief M Karunanidhi said the DMK would continue to support Congress to keep the communal forces at bay. He had made clear yesterday that the DMK would not nominate its Representatives to fill vacancies in the UPA government in case of a reshuffle.

DMK’s decision, taken at an emergency meeting of its Executive, came on a day Jharkand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), announced withdrawal of its support of two MPs to the government at the Centre in protest against its “anti-people policies”.

JVM(P), headed by former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi, has two MPs in Lok Sabha including himself. After the withdrawal of the support of Trinamool Congress, the majority for UPA government has come down to 306, which includes key outside supporters–SP (22) and BSP (21).

“We are withdrawing support to the UPA government following its anti-people policies. We will meet President Pranab Mukherjee soon and submit the letter of withdrawal,” JVM(P)’s Principal General Secretary Pradip Yadav and party?s Lok Sabha member Ajay Kumar told a press conference here.

“Our party is against FDI in retail, hike in diesel price and cap in LPG cylinders,” they said.

A resolution adopted at an emergency meeting of DMK Executive, chaired by its President M Karunanidhi, said allowing FDI in multi-brand retail in the name of economic reforms will spell doom for developing countries like India,”

The DMK said certain states going ahead with the implementation of FDI and some others opposing it will only damage hugely the Indian economy.

“…this executive insists upon the Central Government to reconsider the decision to allow FDI (in multi-brand retail),” the resolution said.

Going a step further, Karunanidhi said his party would support an Opposition-sponsored resolution against FDI if it was brought in the Parliament as FDI in retail would have an adverse impact on the people.

“We will,” he said in reply to a question whether the DMK would back the opposition if it brings a resolution in Parliament opposing FDI in retail trade.

Karunanidhi, who has of late been critical of some of the UPA’s decisions including diesel price hike, made it clear that his party would continue to support Congress to keep “communal and regressive forces” from taking any advantage.

The meeting, attended by senior party leaders including his sons M K Alagiri and M K Stalin, came on the day when TMC hit the Delhi streets with a rally against the UPA.

Evading a direct reply on the reason for his party’s reluctance to join the union cabinet in the wake of a possible reshuffle, he said “the reason is we won’t participate.”

To a question on alliance with Congress, he said differences do crop up but they are solved through talks.

“A relationship is different. And discussing problems (in such relationship) is different. This issue (DMK’s opposition to FDI) will not affect the relationship,” he said.

Asked if DMK had expressed its “contradictory views” at the recent UPA Coordination committee meeting, he said his party representatives had conveyed DMK’s opinions.

He hoped Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would give “further thought,” when pointed out there would be no change in the government’s