FDI: DMK keeps Centre in suspense

The DMK, the second biggest constituent of the UPA government at the Centre, today kept up the suspense over its decision on FDI in retail, with party president M Karunanidhi saying that the party "would discuss the proposal with its MPs and would take a position on it".

Asked why was there a suspense on the party's stand, Karunanidhi quipped: "I have written scripts for a hundred films and am still writing. There should be an element of suspense for the films to be successful."

After repeated queries, Karunanidhi added that the small and medium traders in Tamil Nadu were concerned that FDI in retail sector would seriously affect them. "We will keep their interests in focus when we discuss and decide," he said.

On Tuesday, Karunanidhi said the party's stand would be announced after the Bill was introduced in Parliament.

His refusal to commit his party's support to the proposal came two days after Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram met him. With 18 members in the Lok Sabha, DMK's support is crucial for the Congress, especially after the exit of the Trinamool Congress.

Karunanidhi is unlikely to be too keen to toe the Congress line considering the recent equations between the two parties since the 2G spectrum sale scam broke out, and the recent statement by Union Minister of State V Narayanasamy that the DMK has not been consistently supporting the Centre on the Kudankulam nuclear power project.

Last month, the DMK had urged the Centre to reconsider the decision on retail FDI and had even announced that it would support any resolution moved in Parliament against the proposal. The party executive committee meeting, chaired by Karunanidhi, had adopted a resolution stating that FDI in retail was not suited for a developing country like India and that the move would affect millions of poor and the middle-class.

More MPs call for vote

NEW DELHI: As the winter session of Parliament draws closer, more members belonging to different parties have given notices for a discussion on FDI under Rule 184 which warrants voting. Among these are Ramesh Bais, Hansraj Ahir and A T Nana Patil of the BJP, Shatabdi Roy of the TMC and Rajiv Ranjan Singh of the JD-U. The Left parties had earlier decided to move a motion in this regard.

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