The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the allegations of a scam in commodities exchange, sugar import and forward trading, which together have led to the rising prices of food items.

Addressing a press conference here, senior party leader S.S. Ahluwalia said the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee had not been implemented and charged the UPA government with exploiting farmers, who were neither getting cheap loans nor remunerative prices for their produce.

Pointing out that the Essential Commodities Act had also not been totally implemented, Mr. Ahluwalia, the BJP's deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha, said this was also one of the reasons for the rising prices.

He added that BJP president Nitin Gadkari and senior leaders like L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley would address the party's rally on Wednesday in the capital.

The rally is being held to highlight the issue.

Earlier in the day, the BJP's Parliamentary Party held its meeting under the chairmanship of Mr. Advani, who “expressed satisfaction” over the performance of party MPs during the second half of the budget session, which began last week.

“We believe that our first victory was to force the government into accepting a discussion on the Dantewada incident, and the next was to force the exit of Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor from the Union Council of Ministers over the IPL issue,” Mr. Ahluwalia said.

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