‘UPA considers common man’s concerns outdated’

Taking a dig at those championing the cause of FDI in retail, especially Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said the UPA government considered the common man's concerns "outdated".

"We are from the grassroots, we represent the common man. And the common man is always backdated (outdated). I am proud to say we are with the people," she told reporters here after addressing the 85th Annual General Meeting of FICCI here.

Earlier in his address at the same function, the PM had said that those opposing FDI were "constrained by outdated ideologies". Mamata's remark was in response to that.

Referring to opposition to opening of the retail sector to global supermarkets, Singh said, "I am afraid that those who oppose these moves are either ignorant of global realities or are constrained by outdated ideologies."

Making a spirited appeal to India Inc to invest in West Bengal, Mamata said her government has recently approved a land allotment policy to introduce transparency and it was for the investors to "nurture the potential available in the state". "People from Bengal have a lot of talent. Our talent work everywhere from NASA to bhasa... from computer to compounder. If you want to nurture it, invest in the state, don't worry," she said.

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