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FDI demon in Puja pandals

Calcutta, Oct. 10: Munch on Trinamul’s anti-FDI tirade along with that chicken roll while pandal-hopping this time.

Trinamul will distribute among visitors at big Puja pandals leaflets mentioning why Mamata Banerjee and her party are against the economic reforms introduced by the Centre, including FDI in multi-brand retail. The leaflets will also explain why Trinamul withdrew support to UPA-II over the issues.

“Visitors will be given the leaflets at Puja pandals explaining why we had to pull out of the central government and why we are against the so-called reform measures. Information on issues such as FDI in retail and pension will be dealt with in the leaflets,” said Partha Chatterjee, industries minister and Trinamul secretary-general.

A Trinamul leader said the leaflets would be distributed mainly at pandals in Bhowanipore, New Alipore, Chetla Rashbehari, Dum Dum and Salt Lake.

Trinamul sources said Mamata wanted to ensure through a “relentless campaign” that people understood why she withdrew support to the Centre.

“The common man had no idea why the Left had pulled out of UPA-I in 2008 over the nuclear deal. The chief minister does not want the people to misunderstand her. In her rallies too, Mamata had said she did not pull out earlier because she did not want to be held responsible if the central government collapsed,” a senior minister said.

At a rally in East Midnapore yesterday, Mamata told the gathering, largely constituting farmers, that FDI and fertiliser price hikes would “ruin” them and leave them landless. She urged the people to join her movement against such steps after the Pujas and Id.

A team of senior Trinamul leaders and workers are collating data on the “adverse impact” of FDI in other countries.

“We will tell the people about the adverse impact of FDI on retail shops in countries such as Thailand and retrenchments in western countries. Data are being collected. They will be mentioned in the leaflets,” Chatterjee said.

Party leaders, including Chatterjee, Subrata Mukherjee and Purnendu Bose are holding street-corner meetings in Calcutta telling the people about FDI and the pull-out decision. The Trinamul sources said the trade, youth and students’ wings of Trinamul were also campaigning against the “anti-people” reforms.

“We will organise seminars in universities on this issue,” said Shankudeb Panda, the Trinamul Chhatra Parishad president.

Trinamul will also set up stalls in front of pandals selling Mamata’s books and the Puja edition of party mouthpiece Jago Bangla. The leaflets will also be available at the stalls.