Hooda takes on Sushma candidly
By Santwana Bhattacharya | ENS - NEW DELHI
06th December 2012 10:07 AM
One of the curious developments of the FDI debate in the Lok Sabha is the maturing Rahul Gandhi brigade. The young MP from Rohtak, Deependra Hooda, was by far the best voice from the treasury benches taking on the Opposition on the controversial FDI issue.
Instead of getting bogged down by competitive statistics, Hooda chose to be disarmingly candid even as he took on Opposition Leader Sushma Swaraj, whose oratory skills very few can match in the current House.
“I know FDI will not solve all the problems of farmers, but it gives them an option. I am the son of a farmer, I understand their problems. Do not underestimate the Indian farmer. They are not fools, they will sell to the person who gives them the best price.” But his counter arguement that mega-retailers, like Walmart, will not able to force the Indian farmers to sell their produce at pre-determined prices as “there are laws to protect retail pricing”, drew sniggers from veteran parliamentarians, BJP’s Yashwant Sinha and CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta.
However, to Hooda’s credit he stuck to his guns, unflustered reminding many of the passionate speech Omar Abdullah had made in the Lok Sabha during the July 2008 trust vote on the civil nuclear deal in a similar charged-up atmosphere.
Hooda’s speech was the surprise element of the debate, even for his own party MPs, some of whom including Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh came forward to congratulate him. More so as Hooda
charged the BJP of opposing FDI-in-retail “just because it was a UPA government’s move”.
Directly taking on Sushma, the Congress MP said, “Even McDonalds came out with a press statement to say they buy most potatoes from India. We found out where McDonald’s buys it’s potatoes from-most come from Gujarat. That state has the most McDonald’s stores. But, as soon as this potato comes out of the ground, the BJP is quick to term it as American.”
Hooda asked Sushma whether she had visited Ambala - her hometown- of late. “Sushmaji says she is from Ambala, but I think she has not been to Ambala for sometime. There are ‘kirana’ stores that co-exist with multi-brand retail chains.”
Also charging the Opposition of raising objection on every developmental move of the ruling side, he cited the example of computers, Delhi Metro to justify his statement.
“It may be remembered how the Opposition members protested against the Bhakra Nangal dam, saying the Congress will take away the electricity from the dam. Today, the same dam irrigates vast tracts both in Haryana and Punjab. The same applies to the computer technology, the Dunkel draft and now the FDI,” he added.
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