No threat to UPA: Sharad Pawar
The Union agriculture minister told PTI that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had flagged the issues of FDI in retail, hike in diesel prices and a cap on subsidised LPG cylinders at the first meeting of the UPA Coordination Committee, also attended by the Trinamool Congress chief.
Pawar's statement is at variance with Banerjee's claim that she was kept in the dark by the Centre on the key issues before it took the controversial decisions.
At the same time, he said Banerjee, at the UPA Coordination Committee meeting, had told she would meet the Prime Minister later to give her views on the three issues.
Pawar saw allowing FDI in retail a "win-win" for both farmers and consumers, and saw no threat to small traders. "Farmers would get a better price for their produce and consumers would also get farm products at a lower cost," he said, adding that he was "not among those who would oppose for the sake of opposition".
On the diesel price hike, Pawar said the unpleasant decision was taken as oil marketing companies were facing huge under-recoveries and banks had expressed difficulty in supporting them further if such a situation continued.
The stage is set for a fresh round of argument on the highly publicised Lokpal bill in Parliament. The Samajwadi Party has made it clear that it would oppose the Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
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