CPM leader accuses TMC of trying to hijack FDI issue

Mamata Banerjee

CPI(M) leader Mohammed Salim has accused Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee of trying to be more "Leftist than the Leftists" by attacking the government over reforms including FDI in retail.

However, the Trinamool Congress said that it is taking a principled stand and is not in competition with the Left.

CPI(M) Central Committee member Salim said, "It is good that she (Banerjee) is now opposing, but she is trying to take a holier than thou image. She is trying to be more Leftist than the Leftists".

"This is nothing new. It was also tried in Europe and South America and several other places to destroy the Left organisations," Salim said.

He said, "This strange situation is unfolding in Kerala too where the Congress-led UDF is opposing the FDI policy because of the compulsion to deter the Left parties."

Holding that Mamata Banerjee was a product of the Congress, he said, "When in 1991 reform measures were first announced she did not oppose them.

"And, even in 2002 when FDI in retail was proposed she did not oppose it. It is good that she is now learning," Salim said.

Countering the charge, senior Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy said, "We are not competing with the Left in opposing multi-brand retail because we have taken a principled position on the this even when we were in UPA 2 government."

Roy, who was among the six ministers belonging to the Trinamool Congress who resigned on September 21 following the party's withdrawal of support to UPA government, said then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had announced in Parliament that FDI in multi-brand retail would not be implemented without the consensus of all stake-holders.

"So, our position is absolutely independent of the Left. We opposed FDI in the interest of billions of small traders in the country," Roy said.

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