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BJP wants to embarass Shourie on FDI ‘faux pas’

Stung by remarks of its leader Arun Shourie on FDI and diesel price hike, BJP on Monday sought to embarass him by recalling his remarks in Parliament in 2002 countering Congress on FDI issue.

Asked about Shourie’s comments, BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay said that ‘On 16 December, 2002, Congress had in the Lok Sabha called FDI in multi-brand retail as anti-national. Arun Shourie, who was then the Commerce Minister, gave a strong reply and said FDI will not be allowed in multi-brand retail.’

Shourie on Monday appeared to backtrack from his statement and maintained he had been quoted wrongly on FDI in multi-brand retail. He, however, stood by his remarks on diesel price hike being a good step.

Though BJP did not join issue with Shourie and accepted that he was still a member of the party, it distanced itself from the statements where he had praised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

‘The whole of BJP and all its workers speak in one voice and not with those who differ from this point. All of us are unanimous in our view,’ Vijay said refusing to clarify his statement further. Shourie has at times taken a stand on issues which is at variance with the party’s official view.

Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi also rejected Shourie’s views on FDI. ‘This can be his personal views but not of the party,’ he told reporters here. He said that according to reports available with the party, ‘we can confidently say that we do not endorse with his [Shourie’s] views. With the coming of FDI in retail, business to the tune of USD 400 billion will go to different hands and five crore people will lose their income and livelihood,’ he said.
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