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Saturday, 3 December 2011

2012 polls: Khurshid dares Anna to come to Punjab

Union Law and Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday dared social activist Anna Hazare to come to Punjab for the ensuing state Assembly polls in early 2012. “Anna Hazare should come to Punjab,” Khurshid said, while responding to a query about the social activist’s threats, to campaign against the Congress in the poll-bound states, if the Jan Lok Pal bill was not passed in the winter session of Parliament.

Attributing the delay in passing the Bill to the “Opposition stalling the House,” the Law Minister said that the Centre was all for passing the anti-graft legislation.

Khurshid also trashed team Anna’s claims that they were behind the Congress candidate’s defeat in the Hisar by-poll. “There were other reasons to that (behind Congress candidate’s defeat in Hisar by poll),” said the Law Minister. Notably, Congress candidate Jai Parkash had lost his deposit in the Hisar bypoll held in October.

Earlier, buoyed by a responsive crowd during the state Congress’ Punjab Bachao Rally at Malerkotla on Wednesday, Khurshid told the gathering that he would like to take a similar impression to Uttar Pradesh as well.

Khurshid also announced that the Centre would soon bring a law to provide reservation to minorities within the 27 per cent reserved for the Other Backward Classes. He said there were five minorities - Muslims, Sikhs, Christian, Parsis and the Buddhists who were recognised by the Minority Commission of India. He added that students of the minority communities would be given scholarships under the 12th five-year plan.

On FDI, the Union Law Minister said the government would see that FDI in retail does not prove detrimental to small shopkeepers and ensure that their interests are “protected”. That is why, he said “it was first being allowed with a minimum population ceiling clause”. According to the Centre, the multi-brand retail stores would come up in only those cities that have a population of more than one million.


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