BJP: Get ready for the big one

The BJP said on Wednesday that if it comes to power at the Centre it will scrap FDI in multi-brand retail, and urged its leaders to prepare for the “big objective” as the UPA has become a “sinking ship” whose allies were “seeking avenues to leave the government”.

The party rubbished reports of a rift in the NDA on FDI, and also targeted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying while the Congress used to present him as an “arthashastri (economist) PM”, the country’s growth graph showed he was an “anarth (catastrophe) shastri PM”.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari, inaugurating the party’s three-day conclave on Wednesday at Surajkund with a meeting of its national executive, said the country was reeling under “stinking corruption” and the government’s “gross arrogance”. The BJP’s national council, which meets on Thursday and Friday, will ratify an amendment to the party constitution extending the tenure of the party chief and chalk out strategy on the political and economic situation.
Briefing the media, BJP spokesman Ravishankar Prasad said Mr Gadkari had asked leaders to stay united and “be prepared” as an early general election loomed large.
Amid reports that the Shiromani Akali Dal had softened its stand on multi-brand retail FDI, Mr Prasad said: “There is no difference (of opinion) at all.” He insisted the BJP was in regular touch with its ally.
Reminded that the BJP had promised 26 per cent retail FDI in its 2004 manifesto, Mr Prasad said: “Wait for our manifesto... 51 or no per cent... FDI is not good for farmers and small retailers.” He said the BJP’s stand on retail FDI was a “well-considered” one.

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