New Delhi, Oct 1 (ANI): Congress Party on Monday alleged that the fear of being overtaken by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has compelled Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Lal Krishna Advani to increase writing blogs.
Congress leader Jagdambika Pal, who was asked to comment on Advani's latest blog where he mentions that 'Dr. Manmohan Singh had in 2002 said FDI in retail will destroy employment', said there is no need to make a comment on his blog.
"It has become a practice for Advaniji, everyday Advaniji is writing a blog and these blogs are creating confusion. Now, he is propagating secularism in his own party. He was known as a fundamentalist once, but he is changing his stand only to attack Narendra Modi," said Pal.
"Advaniji has taken out Rath Yatra in this country and he himself used to play communal politics. And today he thinks that he can't compete on communal politics with Narendra Modi. So, in an effort to fulfill his aspiration of becoming Prime Minister, he has chosen the middle path, hoping that the allies would select him as an alternative. His blogs have created a lot of confusion and opposition even in his own party," he added.
The Congress leader claimed that the BJP had said in its election manifesto that it would bring FDI in retail if the NDA comes to power at the Centre in 2004.
"Being in the opposition now they want to mislead the people of the country by stating that FDI in retail will increase unemployment. But the truth is that employment will increase and the farmers will also benefit out of FDI in retail," said Pal.
"Manmohan Singh as a person, being a Finance Minister and now the Prime Minister, he always stood for economic reforms. And if China has adopted FDI in retail, then I think this is the need of the hour when we have to bring and push through the economic reforms," he added.
Advani has in his blog sought to turn the tables on the Congress on the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail by pointing out that a senior leader of that party had opposed the measure in 2002 during the NDA regime.
"In an earlier blog I had recalled how when the NDA Government was in office the then Chief Whip of the Congress Party Shri Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi had cited the Planning Commission's recommendation in favour of FDI in retail, and on that basis condemned the Vajpayee Government for contemplating this 'anti-national' move," Advani wrote in his blog today.
"Arun Shourie as Minister of Commerce promptly stood up in Parliament to affirm that Government was not in favour of any such proposal," he added.
Advani mentioned that 'at the Suraj Kund conclave of the BJP's National Council, speaking on the Economic Resolution, my colleague Venkaiah Naidu read out from a letter written by Dr. Manmohan Singh, at that point of time Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, to confirm this fact'.
"Federation of Maharashtra Traders had conveyed their concern to him about this matter. In his letter dated December 21, 2002 Dr. Manmohan Singh said that the matter had been raised in the Rajya Sabha two days earlier. "The Finance Minister gave an assurance," Dr. Manmohan Singh said approvingly, "that Government had no proposal to invite Foreign Direct Investment in retail trade," he added
Advani further mentioned in his blog: "The letter from Federation of Associations of Maharashtra has attributed to Dr. Manmohan Singh an even more forthright criticism of FDI in retail. The letter written by Shri C.T. Shanghvi, Chairman, Foreign Trade Committee of the Federation, has said: 'Your honour would recall that during the year 2002-03 I had occasion to lead a delegation of the Federation of Associations of Maharashtra to meet your goodself as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, in connection with the important subject of FDI in retail trade of the country'."
"Even before we made our detailed submissions, you had categorically stated that 'we should not permit Foreign Direct Investment in Retail Trade'. You had further mentioned that "India does not require this kind of reform which would, rather than creating employment, destroy employment," he added. (ANI)