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Updated: April 22, 2010 13:30 IST

BJP to UPA: check prices or quit

Bindu Shajan Perappadan
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BJP President Nitin Gadkari with senior party leaders L. K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Ananth Kumar, Rajnath Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi during a party rally against price rise. Photo: PTI
BJP President Nitin Gadkari with senior party leaders L. K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Ananth Kumar, Rajnath Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi during a party rally against price rise. Photo: PTI

Wrong policies of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, rampant corruption among its Ministers and bad governance are responsible for price rise in the country, said Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari, while addressing an anti-price rise rally at the Ramlila grounds here on Wednesday.

The rally, the first under the leadership of Mr. Gadkari, was one of the largest by the party in Delhi and brought together the entire leadership in a show of strength.

Mr. Gadkari claimed the Congress-led government had not been able to give anything to the country. “Today we are facing spiralling prices of essential commodities, witnessing a large number of suicides by farmers and rampant corruption. The common man is baffled by the high cost of living and the Central government hasn't been able to do anything about the situation despite several promises.”

The BJP president lambasted the government for the rise in the number of the poor. “The number of poor are increasing in the country. While the world economy has been hit by inflation, India seems to be the worst affected,” he said, adding that so far, no Congress leader had given a convincing answer on the issue.

The large crowds occasionally raised slogans: “mehngai se ladna hai, Sansad chalna hai” (We have to fight inflation, march to Parliament) and “mehnat ki kamai kha gai mahngai” (High prices have eaten the fruits of labour). The party colour was spread all over in the form of banners, posters, hoardings and flags.

Earlier, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said: “food prices in India have risen by as much as 20 per cent over the past year. We want to tell the government that if it can't bring the prices down it should quit.”

“Price rise in India is not an outcome of any natural calamity, it is the outcome of the wrong policies of the government. The cost of pulses, milk, sugar, wheat, rice and vegetables have gone up sharply, making it difficult for the common man to maintain a decent standard of living.”

Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani said: “The rich are becoming richer, while the middle class and the poor can't cope with the rising prices. Rising corruption among the Central government leadership is one of the main reasons why the government is unable to keep a check on the prices. This rally is a warning to the Central government, if it is unable to curb price rise, it should quit.”

Senior leaders Rajnath Singh, Murli Manohar, Venkaiah Naidu and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley were among those present.

Following the rally, the senior leaders boarded a “rath” for proceeding towards Parliament as the second part of the protest. However, having been under the sun for over two hours, Mr. Advani, Dr. Joshi, Mr. Jaitley, Mr. Singh and Vasundhara Raje were not able to go very far on the rath, which was repeatedly stopped by the police to keep the crowds under control.

Mr. Gadkari fainted while heading towards Parliament to court arrest. After he was revived by colleagues, party leaders decided to whisk him away in a car.

Soon after this, Mr. Advani, Dr. Joshi and Mr. Jaitley also got off the rath and left in their cars. Later, party national general-secretary Vijay Goel and S.S. Ahluwalia led the rath all the way to the Parliament Street police station, where the party leaders and workers courted arrest.

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What has the Congress-led UPA government to show as achievements since it came into office after the last general elections? The economy is still tottering, inflation is soaring, security against terrorist attacks doesn't seem to be any better than when Mumbai attack took place, the maoists are still free to unleash violence at will, farmers continue to be desperate about their ability to survive and Pakistan is steadily increasing its international status and yet the opposition had so far chosen to handle the government with kid gloves. Fortunately however the BJP has suddenly woken up and has started raising its voice against at least the price rise. On counter-terrorism, Maoists violence and Pakistan it still perhaps considers it unpatriotic to criticise the government.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Apr 22, 2010 at 09:27 IST

A strong responsible opposition is a real welcome feature of democracy to ensure the fruits do reach the last mile. While inflation is inevitable, substantial increase will and does hurt the middle and lower class. Having said that, every produce from the land is high priced to an extent of one hundred percent over the last eighteen months and where does that money go? If it reaches the producer then he would be able to cope up with the inflation to a certain extent.Govt must ensure equity, a task which is fundamental in governance. BJP mentions, that whenever congress government comes to power, the prices always go up. Memories are short and BJP lost the election in Delhi,few years back when the prices of potatoes and onions shot up
With huge imports of high price crude vital for transportation etc., some inflation is inevitable.
However, increased production, innovative methods for food productivity, imports to curb prices to avoid windfall profits (like what happened to sugar prices), an efficient infrastructure for distribution are the key factors for containing inflation. While we can all cry that corruption is a big factor for the present situation- which party is devoid of that?!
We have to operate within the frame work of our public culture and improve constantly. I am sure the huge rally will have an impact and the govt will and should wake up to tackle the present situation on war footing.

from:  k v krishnamurthy
Posted on: Apr 22, 2010 at 08:12 IST
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