New Delhi, Sep 20 (ANI): Expressing his dismay over the nationwide shutdown called by the opposition parties over Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi brand retail and the diesel price hike, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday said the protest or demonstration in a democracy should not be carried out in a manner that causes economic losses.
"In a democracy, we respect the opposition protesting or demonstrating against the government's decision. But if you are protesting and demonstrating against a decision of the government concerning the economy, its rather ironic that the form of protest you adopt will cause great economic losses," he said.
Chidambaram pointed out that the wage earners cannot earn their wages and the continuous processing factories cannot carry on their operations because of the shutdown.
"In some factories wages would have to be paid, but there will be no production. The net effect of this is greater economic losses. I think when you are protesting a decision concerning the economy, you should not protest in a manner that causes economic losses," he added.
Chidambaram further expressed confidence that the ruling UPA Government was still stable despite West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee withdrawing her support.
"We have enough friends today. We had enough friends yesterday. So, I don't see any reason why you should doubt our stability. If we can acquire new friends, why wouldn't be acquire new friends," he said.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) shutdown to protest against reforms announced by the Congress-led UPA Government last week brought the nation to a partial standstill on Thursday.
Leaders of the BJP, Left Parties and the Samajwadi Party courted arrest across the country during their protests.
The UPA Government appears to be under pressure as of now following Mamata Banerjee's declaration that the Trinamool Congress would be pulling out of the Central Government.
Trinamool Congress, the second biggest constituent of the UPA with 19 MPs, dealt a major blow to the Manmohan Singh Government when it decided to withdraw its support on the issue of petroleum price hike, FDI in retail and corruption.
The TMC's decision brings the UPA's effective strength in the 545-seat Lok Sabha from 273 to 254, which is slightly below the halfway mark.
The ruling Congress Party is likely to rope in either the Samajwadi Party or Bahujan Samaj Party, both of which extend outside legislative support to the UPA regime. (ANI)