The opposition to the government approval to FDI in multi-brand and single-brand retail has been widespread among farmer groups but there are isolated voices willing to see merit in the policy provided certain conditions are applied.
Industry outfit Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations (CIFA) and Sharad Joshi’s Shetkari Sanghatna have supported the proposal. Bharat Krishak Samaj (BKS) known as an affiliate of the ruling Congress party has come with a conditional support for the policy. BKS president Ajay Jakhar says it would open the doors to competition among buyers of agricultural produce, improving the lot of farmers. He has just one condition for supporting the FDI: That 75 per cent of the produce sold by retailers should be directly bought from producers.
UPA eyes poll dole for Muslims
The Congress-led UPA government with its eyes trained on the crucial Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, declared it was working on giving reservations to Muslims within the 27 per cent OBC quota. This set off angry reactions from the opposition BJP which accused the Congress of “misleading the Muslim electorate”.
Minority Affairs and Law Minister Salman Khurshid speaking to the media in Parliament on Thursday said, “Of the 27 per cent OBC quota in central jobs, the government is examining to fix a quota for backward Muslims.”
Reacting, BJP Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha S S Ahluwalia said, “This issue is being raised to create misconceptions (among Muslims). The constitutionality of the issue should also be studied. Many states have given more than the specified reservations and several such cases are pending in the Supreme Court.”