Hooda Jr gives spirited defence

Young Congress MP from Rohtak Deepender Hooda on Wednesday presented a spirited defence of the government’s decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail during the debate in the Lok Sabha. Mr Hooda, who is considered a member of the inner circle of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, won fulsome praise from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after the Opposition motion against the government decision was defeated.
Claiming to be a member of the farming community, Mr Hooda said FDI in retail would give farmers an alternative.
“I know FDI will not solve all the problems of farmers. But it gives them an option. I am the son for a farmer. I understand their problems,” said Mr Hooda, while cautioning the Opposition not to underestimate the farmer of India. “They are not fools, they will sell to the person who gives them the best price,” asserted Mr Hooda.
Taking on Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, Mr Hooda said the BJP is opposing FDI in retail because it is a UPA government move. Countering Ms Swaraj’s claims that McDonald’s buys its potatoes from outside, Mr Hooda said the multi-national giant buys most potatoes from India.
“We found out where McDonald’s buys its 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 American,” he stated.
He contested Ms Swaraj’s claims on her home town Ambala by questioning whether she he had exactly been to Ambala in recent days. “Sushmaji spoke of being from Ambala but I think she has not been to Ambala in quite some time. There are kirana stores that co-exist with multi-brand retail chains,” he said.

Wandering about the near empty streets of a somnolent Lisbon on Sunday it seemed incredible that for years I was expressly forbidden to visit the Portuguese capital. Not me alone. No Indian could.

This is the first time that an election result in a Northeast state has got so much attention in the so-called national media.