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Sinha for ending ally ties over ‘power pact’

Bokaro, Nov. 11: Hazaribagh MP Yashwant Sinha today warned that he would request the BJP central leadership to break its alliance with the JMM in Jharkhand, if the latter continued to insist on sharing power after 28 months.

Earlier this week, JMM chief and chairman of the state co-ordination committee Shibu Soren had threatened BJP that they would pull out of the government if it refused to share the office of the chief minister on a rotational basis.

Though Soren had reiterated his stand on the basis of a deal that he claimed was arrived at before chief minister Arjun Munda assumed charge two years ago, Sinha said he was not aware of it.

“I am now aware of any such pact of transfer of power after 28 months, as the BJP is not a private limited company. Every decision is taken by the central committee and not any individual. If any such decision had been taken by the committee, I would certainly have known,” Sinha told mediapersons in Bokaro.

He further argued that if there were any written agreement between the ruling allies, the confusion could have been avoided.

The former finance minister also lashed out at the Congress-led central government while expressing concern at the poor state of the economy.

He pointed out that from a high of 9.8 per cent in 2007, the annual growth rate had dipped to below 6.

Lambasting the UPA government for allowing 51 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail, he said, “Senior Congress leader Priya Ranjan Das Munshi had raised objection on December 10, 2002, in the Lok Sabha over FDI. He had cited a newspaper report claiming the NDA was planning to allow FDI in retail, which was denied by our then finance minister Jaswant Singh.”

Sinha added that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was the then leader of Opposition, also objected to FDI in retail.

“How can FDI in retail, endorsed by the Congress 10 years later, be in national interest now?” he asked, adding it would lead to large-scale unemployment.

The MP said he supported FDI in infrastructure and technical sectors but not in retail.

“The policies of the UPA government have led to price hike,” he said, adding the country did not face the problem during the NDA rule at the Centre.

“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was the darling of the foreign media, has now faced flak over the decreasing growth rate and rising inflation.”