Traders' body CAIT on Wednesday said its members in different states will observe bandh on Thursday in protest against the government's decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail sector.
"There will be no commercial activity across the country. Traders in different cities will take out protest marches and demonstrations," Secretary General of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Praveen Khandelwal told reporters here.
He said several leaders of different political parties, which are also observing the nation-wide bandh, will address a rally of retail traders at Jantar Mantar.
About 25,000 trade associations representing five crore traders, hawkers, labourers and farmers will participate in the bandh, Khandelwal claimed.
Several political parties, including Trinamool Congress, BJP, JD(U), Samajwadi Party and BSP are opposing the FDI in retail.
Contradicting the Commerce Ministry's clarification, CAIT Secretary General said once the sector is opened to foreign investors they will have to be given the national treatment under different bilateral treaties.
He said the government stand that these treaties would not affect the states' rights to allow or disallow foreign retailers was "misleading and baseless".
He said that multi-national companies would displace small shopkeepers and will adversely impact traders and hawkers.
BSP to keep away from tomorrow's bandh:
BSP, a key outside supporter of UPA, will keep away from on Thursday's nationwide bandh against diesel price hike and FDI in retail, party sources said on Wednesday in Lucknow.
BSP supremo Mayawati has already announced that the issue of continuing support to the UPA government would be discussed after the party's 'maha rally' on October 9, the sources said.
They said a final decision on continuing outside support to the UPA would be taken at the party's National Executive Meeting next month where "anti-people" decisions of the Centre would be discussed.
BSP has 21 members in the Lok Sabha, two more than Trinamool Congress.
BSP's announcement came as a huge relief to a beleaguered UPA a day after Mamata Banerjee decided to withdraw TMC ministers from the Union government and the party's support to the Congress-led coalition.