Manmohan Singh should go back to World Bank: Sharad Yadav

JD (U) president Sharad Yadav said foreign retail brands will not be allowed to enter the country.

New Delhi: With the row between the government and the opposition on FDI in multi-brand retail and diesel price hike escalating, JD-U on Sunday hit out at Prime Minister Minister Manmohan Singh, saying his government will have to go for this "dangerous venture".

Claiming that the coordinated agitation by non-UPA parties against these policies on September 20 will culminate in the "ouster of this government", party president Sharad Yadav expressed confidence that UPA constituent Trinamool Congress and outside supporters Samajwadi Party and Bahuhan Samaj Party will also not back the government on these measures.

Drawing parallels of the government`s move with the Emergency, Yadav said that while Indira Gandhi had opened the locks put during the Emergency in 1975 after two years, "what Manmohan Singh is doing is trying to close the employment opportunities of crores of Indians and this lock cannot be opened once FDI in multi-brand retail is in."

Targeting the Prime Minister, he said that Singh, who used to work for the World Bank, "should go back to the World Bank. So should Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission. We do not need them".

Yadav also appealed to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to "get rid of the Prime Minister, Ahluwalia and Finance Minister P Chidambaram" alleging that they are "contributing further in increasing the problem of hunger" in the country instead of solving the core problems.

Asked how sure was he of the support of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who had given on Friday a 72-hour ultimatum to the government on the issue, Yadav said," She never gives fake threats".

The JD-U chief said that the Opposition would not have been able to stall FDI in mutli-brand retail in the past as well had Banerjee not "backed" them in protests against the move.

"We would not have succeeded in stalling FDI in multi-brand retail in past as well had she not got involved in stopping it with all the strength then," Yadav said.

SP, along with a number of other non-UPA parties including BJP, have decided to hold coordinated agitational programmes on September 20 against these measures.

Yadav said that while he is of the view that an elected government should run the country for five years, "but now the matter has crossed all limits. Manmohan Singh is targeting the bread and butter of people. This is not courage but a dangerous venture. This is a step, which will destroy the country."

The opposition parties will work together to see that "this government should not further exist in the country...We will also talk to Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party. I salute Mamata... This government should not remain," the JD-U chief said, maintaining that the government does not have the conviction to develop the country.

"It`s a fake government that is running the country. FDI in multi-brand retail cannot come in this country at any cost. This is like killing the people not by any enemy but through the government`s own policies. The country will not tolerate it," Yadav said.

The JD-U president while criticising the Prime Minister also felt that it would have been better had Sonia Gandhi been allowed to become the Prime Minister after the 2004 Lok Sabha election results.

"It`s unfortunate that some people created a situation in which Manmohan Singh became the Prime Minister. Had Sonia Gandhi been allowed to become the Prime Minister, we would have attacked her for failure of the policies. Now we are fighting a shadow. For eight years we are fighting a shadow," Yadav, who is also the convener of the NDA, said.

BJP was in the forefront in opposing Gandhi becoming the Prime Minister.

Yadav also attacked the goverment over its decision to hike diesel prices and demanded their roll-back, saying the move otherwise will further increase the prices of essential commodities.

Yadav also took a jibe at "people like (Montek Singh) Ahluwalia in the government speaking English with Western accent", saying they do not understand the country.

He, however, hastened to add that he is not against any language and pointed out that a number of socialist leaders were also proficient in English.

The JD-U chief suggested that while there is no point in giving subsidy on diesel to car owners and mall owners and other business establishments and households using generator sets, it should contine for farmers and for transportion of essential commodities.

On the controversial coal block allocations, he alleged, "Looters of the country have been allocated coal blocks. All these allocations should be cancelled". He also alleged that the government went on allocation spree to keep the GDP intact, which is a "fallacy".

Accusing the Centre of being "hell-bent on sheltering the corrupt", he gave an ultimatum to the government to take steps for cancellation of the coal blocks and their re-auction within two months.

The JD-U chief was scathing in his attack on RJD chief Lalu Prasad for supporting FDI in multi-brand retail suggesting that he was doing it under pressure from the Centre to avoid CBI investigations in the cases against him.

"I wonder why Lalu Prasad is so scared of CBI. He should not forget the roots from where he came. He is saying it will benefit the country while in reality it will snatch employment from 22 crore people in India engaged in retail," he said.

Defending the Centre`s decision, Prasad had yesterday said that farmers stood to gain from FDI in multi-brand retail as they will get a fair price for their produce.