The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Peaceful fight on lips of George
- MP visits vendors fighting reliance ‘raid’

Ranchi, May 14: George Fernandes, who had driven Coca Cola out of the country as Union industries minister in the Janata Dal government of 1977, today advised vegetable vendors here to launch a non-violent agitation against corporate raids into their territory.

The veteran trade unionist and senior JD(U) Member of Parliament interacted with street vendors before heading to Birsa Munda jail to meet two of the vendors who were arrested after Saturday’s violence against Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Fresh.

“I completely sympathise with these vendors. Their number in the country is four crore and outlets like Reliance Fresh are thriving at the cost of these vendors,” he said, vowing to raise the issue in Parliament.

It was clear the old warhorse had sensed a potential issue when he declared: “People know how Ambanis have become rich and accumulated wealth. People are also aware how they manage to win over some of the MPs to support them. But certainly not me. I have all along opposed them.”

He would bring all small vendors and shopkeepers under one platform to initiate a peaceful agitation.

The MP advised the vendors to keep the markets clean. Dirty markets, he said, helped big companies to draw attention of the consumers to the unhygienic conditions and contrast them with their own.

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