Maya hints will back govt ‘to keep BJP out’

BSP chief Mayawati
BSP supremo Mayawati on Monday dropped hints of bailing out the Congress-led UPA in Parliament by invoking the threat of "communalism" arising from "BJP & Co".

While she said there were deficiences in the government's move on FDI in multi-brand retail, "The only plus point is that if a state does not want to implement the FDI policy, then it will not be forcefully imposed. Our party has taken serious note of this."

Further, she said at a press conference, "our party is also seriously thinking whether it should be standing with those parties that encourage communal forces ...It is likely that BJP & Co will pilot (the motion of voting on FDI). We'll have to see it that we don't sent a wrong message.".

No forceful imposition on state governments and the "threat" from communal forces would decide its stand, the BSP chief emphasised. "We will keep these two important factors in mind while taking the right and proper decision in the interest of the country," she said, adding that they were also waiting to hear the reply from the government on the discussion.

Mayawati also sought to delink the BSP's stand on FDI in retail in the House from its demand for a constitutional amendment to provide SC/ST reservation in promotions in government jobs.

"We have not put any such condition," she said when asked if the BSP's bailout of the UPA was a quid pro quo from the government on the issue of the amendment that is vehemently opposed by Mulayam Singh Yadav-led SP.

The government, on its part, tried to keep Mayawati in good humour by asserting its commitment to providing SC/ST reservation in promotions in government jobs. "The government is committed to the Constitution Amendment Bill," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said.

While she acknowledged the importance of FDI, the BSP chief questioned various arguments extended by the government in favour of the move in multi-brand retail.

She said the BSP did not find any merit in the argument that it will be allowed only in large cities with a population over 10 lakh, saying that MNCs will naturally choose only those cities with a large consumer base. "My party's position is that farmers, traders, labourers, small industries and factories will be adversely impacted by this move. It has the potential to lead us to economic slavery," she said.

While highlighting that flexibility to states to allow FDI in retail was the lone "plus point", the BSP supremo added: "It is my suggestion to review the experience of the Congress-ruled states that agree to grant permit to the move."

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