Bharatiya Janata Party leader M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday termed the rise in the prices of essential items a “collective failure” of the United Progressive Alliance government and asked the ruling coalition to either “govern well or get out.”
Talking to journalists here, he charged the UPA with being insensitive to the problems of the people stemming from the steep rise in the prices of essential items. They did not rule so high even during the wars with Pakistan and China, he said, blaming the problem on the Centre’s mismanagement and lack of vision. “Nobody in the UPA is willing to take responsibility for the failure to contain the prices. Everybody is trying to point an accusing finger at others. Some Ministers are blaming Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, as he is not from the Congress. The Agriculture Minister has indicated that the Prime Minister, too, has a role in tackling the issue. But it is the failure of the entire government, and not just one or two Ministers.”
Mr. Naidu described the Centre’s stand that it was the responsibility of the States to check the prices as a “tactic to divert public attention and to wash off its sin of not containing the price rise.”
“How can the States be blamed for the price rise when the Centre decides important issues related to prices such as fiscal and taxation policy, imports and exports, fuel prices as well as the allocation of subsidy and quantum of grain under the Public Distribution System,” he asked.
He said the BJP was organising ‘Raj Bhavan chalo’ in all States this month to protest the Centre’s failure to check the prices. “If the UPA does not wake up from its deep slumber, we will stage ‘Parliament chalo’ in March during the budget session.”
Mr. Naidu wondered why AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi was not talking about the issue during his tour of different States.
As for the talks proposed between India and Pakistan, he said it would be a futile exercise until Pakistan was prepared to “walk the talk.”