Govt passed FDI through arm-twisting: Kejriwal

Social activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal accused the Congress-led UPA II government of passing the FDI bill by "arm-twisting" and observed that there should be a referendum on this issue.

Kejriwal, the architect of Aam Admi Party, which was formed to fight corruption, was speaking at PAN IIT, a conclave of engineers, at Science City on Saturday afternoon.

Saying that the way some parties have behaved in Parliament during debate on FDI "was unfortunate", Kejriwal said that the FDI in retail "should have been decided through a referendum". "The government has passed the FDI bill in Parliament by arm-twisting," he added.

He also pointed out that the way some parties voted in the Parliament was "definitely not on the basis of merit" and it was based on the "pressure of the CBI" on certain parties.

He also raised doubts on the Centre's claim that FDI in retail will be good for the farmers. There has been a huge loss of job wherever Wal Mart had entered, he said.

He also took a dig at unscrupulous elements in the political circle "who have made the country entirely for the VIPs and not for the common people".

"There should be only one VIP in the country — the aam aadmi," said Kejriwal, who is an alumnus of the IIT. He had graduated in mechanical engineering from IIT Kharagpur, before joining Tata Steel.

Kejriwal said he and his party colleagues were "forced into politics". "Politics was thrust upon us. In the last two years there were huge anti-corruption movements under Anna Hazare. We were demanding Jan Lokpalp. In the last one-and-a-half years we tried everything. We met political parties, we sat on fast... In the end, we were left with no other options but to join politics. This was a challenge and we accepted it," Kejriwal said.

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