Seeking to put pressure on the Government on the Walmart lobbying issue, BJP today 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 Walmart 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 $3 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.

(This article was published on December 11, 2012)
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