“UPA’s wrong policies, scams have brought the economy to the verge of collapse”

A large number of Bharatiya Janata Party workers and leaders courted arrest on Friday as part of a “satyagraha” agitation launched by the party against the Congress-led governments at the Centre and in Delhi for their alleged failure on various fronts.

In Delhi, a public meeting was organised by the party at Jantar Mantar where senior party leaders addressed the workers before undertaking the march to the Prime Minister’s residence and courting arrest.

Addressing the protesters, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley accused the Congress regimes of taking the economy to the verge of collapse due to “wrong policies, corruption and scams.”

“Due to this, the foreign investors are avoiding coming to India and preferring to invest in China and Indonesia,” said Mr. Jaitley.

He also noted that while at present the price of crude oil was less than 90 dollars per barrel in the international market, the Government was recovering much more from the consumers by imposing various taxes. The senior BJP leader also accused the Centre of “misusing the Central Bureau of Investigation to save itself”.

Making an oblique reference to systematic misgovernance, Mr. Jaitley said: “The entire world knows who is running the Government of India. The country was not in such a condition ever.” He charged that the interlocutors on Kashmir had presented a “dangerous report” which could split the country but declared that BJP would never allow another division to take place.

Former BJP president Rajnath Singh spoke about the pathetic condition of farmers and agriculture in the country. “In a country where 65 per cent people are farmers, farming is being deliberately ruined. The farmers are not getting the cost of their production and the middlemen are benefiting,” he said. Mr. Singh claimed that fertiliser was being sold at a premium, price of seeds had shot up and diesel was in short supply for irrigation. But while the input costs had gone up, he said the farmers were not getting enough for their produce. Moreover, he said, there were not even enough bags to store wheat of which about 1.25 lakh tonnes had rotted.

BJP national vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi delved on the issue of water and power crisis. Even in Delhi, the Capital city, he said there was a severe scarcity of these.

Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly V. K. Malhotra spoke about the 14 years of the Sheila Dikshit Government in Delhi and what the people felt about its alleged failures.

Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta said it was shameful that the Delhi Government failed to ensure adequate water supply to every citizen after 14 years of rule. Holding out that the quality of water being supplied in many parts of the city was also very poor, he said a major issue, which needed to be redressed, was the unequal distribution of water and the wastage that was taking place in some places.

After the public meeting, the protesters, who held placards and banners and kept raising slogans, marched towards Parliament Street where the Delhi Police detained them.

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