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Wal-Mart lobbying row: BJP demands JPC probe

Tuesday, 11 December 2012 - 12:10pm IST | Agency: dna

Seeking to put pressure on the government on the Walmart lobbying issue, BJP said it was determined to raise the matter in both Houses of Parliament and seek suspension of Question Hour.

"We will raise in both Houses reports of Wal-Mart spending huge money to lobby for entry the Indian market. While Yashwant Sinha will raise the issue in Lok Sabha, M Venkaiah Naidu will raise it in Rajya Sabha today," the party's chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after a BJP Parliamentary Party meeting here.

He said the party wants an independent probe into the whole affair to ascertain the facts as to who were the beneficiaries of the amount spent by Walmart on lobbying for entry into India.

Naidu told reporters outside Parliament House that the party would not allow the Question Hour to function if the government did not meet its demand.

"We will seek suspension of Question Hour in both Houses of Parliament today," he said.

Prasad said that the money spent on lobbying was spent in India and not in the US. "We have the right to know who were the beneficiaries of this money spent on lobbying," he said.

BJP had yesterday raised the issue in Rajya Sabha, forcing two adjournments. "

The main opposition party was supported by CPI-M, CPI, SP, JD-U, Trinamool Congress, AGP and AIADMK, whose members demanded a probe, saying "corruption" has come to the fore.

"Walmart has in its lobbying disclosure report to the US Senate said it has spent Rs 125 crore on lobbying and USD three million have been spent in 2012 itself for entering the Indian market.

"Lobbying is illegal in India. Lobbying is a kind of bribe. If Walmart has said that hundreds of crores of rupees were spent in India, then it is a kind of bribe. The government should tell who was given this bribe. This raises a question mark on the implementation of FDI in retail," Prasad said. -PTI

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 12:12 IST

After Lok Sabha resumed post the noon adjournment Yashwant Sinha from the BJP questioned the government about the lobbying in FDI.

Sinha said, "Walmart has bribed people in India to get FDI."

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 12:14 IST

BJP demanded a judicicial probe into the matter.

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 12:14 IST

The government said it was ready for a probe.

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 12:14 IST

Kamal Nath said, "Lobbying is a matter of concern for all of us."

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 12:15 IST

Lok Sabha adjourned till 2pm.

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 12:26 IST

Yashwant Sinha said, " The BJP wants a JPC into the Walmart lobbying issue."

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 14:35 IST

Lok Sabha adjourned till 3:00 pm amid demands for time-bound inquiry into disclosure of money spent by Walmart on lobbying in India.

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 14:36 IST

Trinamool Congress, AIADMK, JD(U), RJD demand Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe into Walmart issue.

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 14:48 IST

Lalu Yadav demands a probe into allegations of Walmart lobbying row by a joint parliamentary committee, saying, "We should seek to end this debate by holding a probe."

"The government should summon Walmart so that one can get to the bottom of the case," Lalu added.

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 16:03 IST

"The government knew that Walmart had been lobbying hard for its entry in emerging markets, but it chose to hide the details from the people," said Basudev Acharia, adding that, "Lobbying may not be illegal in America but it amounted to bribe in the Indian context."

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012 16:30 IST

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