The BJP on Friday said that the FDI-in-retail vote has exposed the ‘government vulnerabilities’ and ‘precarious nature of the government’. The FDI verdict has also given the party a ‘huge platform’ in north India to attack ‘various social justice parties who meekly surrendered before big global capitalism, supported by crony capitalism’.
“Today, Walmart has sailed through on the shoulders of the social justice parties. The phony preachers of social justice have meekly surrendered before big global capitalism, supported by crony capitalism,” said BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad, after the vote.
“But we are happy. Politically, we are a gainer. In entire north India, the field is wide open for us to beat our competitors with the FDI-in-retail stick,” he added.
“The SP and BSP need to explain this to the people. We are not going to let them get away. We will take this issue to the people. We will go to Uttar Pradesh where the two major political parties had colluded and helped the government at the last moment and by making lame excuses,” added senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu.
Alleging that the government’s win is a result of manipulation, he said: “If you go by the speeches made in the House by different parties, an overwhelming majority of the members of the Rajya Sabha have voted against FDI in retail.”
The BJP’s contention is that parties like the BSP, the Samajwadi Party, and the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, and parties like Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Lok Janshakti Party, and the Congress in Bihar “would find it extremely difficult to explain their party positions on FDI-in-retail to the electorate”.
“We took a week to familiarise the people and the country with the 2G spectrum scam. People knew about the ‘Coalgate’ right from the outset. Similarly, the FDI-in-retail debate is already in the collective consciousness of the people. We only need to keep the issue alive till the 2014 elections,” added a senior BJP leader.
That the issue was intrinsically related to the ‘aam aadmi’ was highlighted by another party leader who stressed that “To connect with the common man, almost 90 per cent of the speakers in the FDI debate spoke in Hindi, not in English”.
“Even members like CPM’s Sitaram Yechury and JD(U)’s N K Singh spoke in Hindi,” he added.
The BJP contends that it’s just not the trader community that would be at the receiving end of the FDI move.
It also reckons that a huge number of self-employed youths in vegetable trading, fruit trading, fish trading, etc would be adversely affected.
“If you look at the caste configuration of these base traders, most of them belong to intermediate caste or most backward caste category who have traditionally supported the social justice parties. With the FDI move, when their very livelihood is at risk, in one stroke, large number of such people would turn against such parties in states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar,” added a BJP leader.