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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Anna Hazare inciting people on FDI: Swami Agnivesh

JAIPUR: Activist Swami Agnivesh on Saturday criticized Team Anna for provoking people against the Union Cabinet's decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail. At a school function at Jaipur, he said Anna Hazare  and his team were making "factually incorrect and irresponsible statements".

"Statements with factual mistakes are preventing people from engaging in a healthy debate. People opposing FDI should discuss rather than play around with the issue to gain mileage," said Agnivesh.

Agnivesh was not against 51% FDI in retail and for single-brand stores but wanted the farmers' rights to be protected. The government should assure that at least 45% of their products are purchased from farmers, he said.

About returning to Team Anna, he said, "Team Anna is a derogatory word. I don't recognize them. Crediting them for revolution is undermining the power of the common man. They may be face of a movement but it's a revolution by the people." Without naming Hazare, he warned against one-man worship.

He did not support Anna's fresh protests against the Lokpal Bill. "I don't think there is any need for protests when the Union government is working on a strong Jan Lokpal Bill ," said Agnivesh.

He said the Lokpal Bill proposed by the parliamentary panel is better and effective than the one drafted by Team Anna. He accused political parties for opening a front against the FDI.

"They are holding protests claiming that multinational companies will capture our economy. These are baseless arguments in a globalized economy," he said.


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