Mamata Banerjee —West Bengal chief minister and a key ally of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-II government— has taken the Facebook route to oppose the Centre’s decisions on foreign direct investment (FDI), apart from warning the government directly.
“We cannot support the hike in diesel price and the cap on the number of subsidised liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders. Today, a decision has been taken allowing FDI in retail. It is a big jolt. We are really sorry. We cannot support anything which goes against the interest of the poor and common people. Loot cholchhe loot (a loot is on, in Bengali). Sometimes speech is silver and silence is golden. We are not party to it. We are not supporting these anti-people decisions. We are very much serious about these developments and ready to take hard decisions if these issues are not reconsidered,” she had said last night on her official Facebook page. Again, today she thundered on Facebook — “Yes, we need reforms. But reform does not mean to sell out everything to satisfy some sections of individuals.” Mamata has already given the government time till Monday to roll back the decisions. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had just few days back criticised social media for its role in aftermath of Assam violence, tweeted — “The Cabinet has taken many decisions today to bolster economic growth and make India a more attractive destination for foreign investment, I believe that these steps will help strengthen our growth process and generate employment in these difficult times and I urge all segments of public opinion to support the steps we have taken in national interest.”
Joining the social media trend, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is very active on Twitter had this to say — “UPA gives subsidy to slaughter houses but not for rations, LPG cylinders and hikes diesel price. Is this thye Disha of Congress?”
On FDI he had tweeted — surprised what Pradhan Mantriji is doing! FDI in retail will harm shopkeepers, manufacturing sector and create joblessness.”