Kolkata, Sep 14 (IANS) Fuming over the "anti-people" decisions of allowing overseas investments in multi-brand retail and diesel price hike by Rs.5 a litre, UPA's second largest constituent Trinamool Congress Friday gave a 72-hour deadline to the Congress to rethink the decisions.
The party has also called a meeting of its parliamentary party Sep 18. The meeting will be attended by party supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
"We have called an urgent meeting of the parliamentary party on Sep 18. We don't agree with these decisions. We are giving a 72-hour deadline to the Congress to rethink the decision," said party MP Kunal Ghosh.
"We are mentally prepared to take any kind of decision. It would take one second for Trinamool to withdraw support but if we withdraw, some people will say we have created instability. And then the horse-trading will start," he said.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Friday decided to allow up to 51 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.
This followed the announcement Thursday of a hike in diesel price by Rs.five a litre and restricted availability of subsidised cooking gas cylinders per family to six per year.
"It is Trinamool, which has always stood against any kind of price rise, be it railway fare hike or fuel price hike. Mamata Banerjee has repeatedly asked the centre to take concrete steps to bring back the black money from abroad, but they have not heeded," Ghosh said.
Terming the decision of allowing overseas investments in multi-brand retail as unexpected, Trinamool leader and union minister Sudip Bandopadhyay said they would strongly oppose it.
"The decision is unexpected. We would oppose the decision. We will discuss the matter within our party," said Bandopadhyay, the minister of state for health.
"On principle we have said that we don't want this. Afew days back there was a UPA coordination committee meeting, where Mamata Banerjee was herself present. In that meeting it was decided that any big decision will be taken after consultation in the coordination committee," he said.
"But nothing of that sort was done. They should not forget that Trinamool is the second largest constituent of UPA. Mamata Banerjee is against such decision," he said
The nod for multi-brand retail paves the way for the global retail giants like Walmart and Carrefour to open their stores in India.
The cabinet, in November last year, had decided to allow up to 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail. But the move was kept in abeyance following protests from opposition as well as some of the allies of the ruling United Progressive Alliance.