Former Minister of Commerce and Industry Arun Shourie of BJP has vouched for UPA's big-ticket reforms, saying that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh "has shown strength for the first time."

Talking to reporters in Bhopal on Sunday, Shourie justified the Centre's decision of raising diesel price, saying it was "need of the hour."

Shourie also contended that FDI in retail neither bring in profit nor inflict loss but a lot of hue and cry is being raised "unnecessarily" on the issue.

His remarks are a direct contrast to the main opposition's stand on the latest economic policies. At a time when BJP is spearheading nationwide protest against UPA's economic makeovers on diesel prices and FDI in retail sector, Shourie's remarks have brought the party's position to question.

Earlier, BJP senior leader LK Advani slammed UPA on allowing FDI in the multi-brand retail sector. He recalled Congress' opposition in permitting the foreign players to claim larger stakes in the retail markets during NDA regime in 2002.

[Click here to read:Congress Tagged FDI in Retail as 'Anti-national' During NDA Rule: Advani]

FDI in retail has garnered a mixed reaction from the political, business and public circles. Some political leaders descibed the latest economic rush as anti-people, while experts of markets and business called it as a game-changer and was long overdue.

The Congress' firm stand on the new polices prompted the pullout of West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee from the government, reducing the ruling coalition party to a minority. However, Congress appeared to be unfazed by TMC's decision, given that the Samajwadi Party and BJD announced their support to the Centre from the outside.

The slew of reform measures announced on Sept 14 are expected to resurrect the country's slow economic growth rate. India's GDP stood at 5.5 percent in the first quarter this current fiscal. 

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