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BJP promises to send FDI out when in power

On the first day of its three-day national executive and national council meet here on Wednesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] hardened its stand on the issue of foreign direct investment [FDI] in multi-brand retail. The BJP, albeit indirectly, indicated that if they are voted to power at the centre would scrap FDI in multi-brand retail.

‘We are against FDI in multi-brand retail, and consequences will follow once we are in power,’ said the BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad. The BJP leader categorically said that the party would oppose any move of bringing in the FDI. Though in his inaugural speech, the party president Nitin Gadkari focused more on the corruption of the United Progressive Alliance [UPA] government, rather than the FDI issue, Prasad said that Gadkari in his speech mentioned that FDI in multi-brand retail was not good for the farming community and India’s retail chain business.

Gadkari, in his speech, though mentioned that the party was not against economic reforms, but wanted 'pro-people reforms'.  The BJP leaders insisted that the FDI issue would be dealt in detail by the party president on Thursday in his speech at the national council and the issue had also been addressed in the economic resolution of the party that would be brought by the BJP leader Arun Jaitley.
 
When questioned if the party opposed 51 per cent  FDI allowed by the government, as in its agenda for good governance released before the 2004 General Election, it had favoured 26 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, Prasad said, 'Leave it to us. 2004 was eight years ago. Wait for our manifesto.'
 
Later in the day, the other BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, while addressing the press conference, did not clarify the party's stand when he was asked if the BJP would make a clear promise on FDI as it had done on the issue of Telengana. 'We know that the government would not create a separate Telengana state, so we have promised the creation of the state within 100 days assuming the power. But, in the case of FDI in multi-brand retail, we know that government will roll back its decision, so the question does not arise of what we would do if we are in power,' said Javadekar.

Despite the party taking an anti-FDI stand, the BJP leaders say that they do not oppose FDI per say. It has already favoured FDI in pension and insurance sectors.
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