“Politics is always pregnant with possibilities.”
This was how Nationalist Congress Party general secretary and its national spokesman D. P. Tripathi responded to reports that Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh might join his party.
Mr. Tripathi told The Hindu that Mr. Singh was unwell and convalescing in Dubai. “This is no occasion to talk politics. We keep human relationship above political relations. Our party sends him its good wishes,” he said.
Informed sources, however, said Mr. Singh would like to join a party that could give him some position and also assure him a seat in the Rajya Sabha.
What triggered off rumours was that Mr. Singh, who resigned from all his party posts on Wednesday, came out in defence of the NCP chief and Union Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on price rise.
“Now the Congress is also getting sceptical on this issue [price rise] as it is trying to put [the] entire blame on Shri Sharad Pawar. We all know that the entire government has to take joint responsibility of good as well as bad works. The responsibility of the price rise goes to the Cabinet along with the Prime Minister,” he wrote on his blog.
Mr. Singh said the government’s policies had gone “horribly wrong” and were totally anti-farmer. “Without thinking about the plight of farmers, the government has allowed multinationals to do business in the retail sectors. It did a free trade agreement with the ASEAN countries without thinking about its repercussions.”
He charged the government with being a “mute spectator” to the steep rise in prices of pulses, rice, sugar and vegetables. The country had witnessed inflation in the past, but in the last two years the situation had gone from bad to worse. Recently, someone in the government claimed that due to price rise, farmers would get more cost for their produce.
“I want to ask this government to come out of the ivory tower and examine the real statistics. Please don’t befool the citizens. The farmer is getting less than Rs. 30 a kilo for arhar dal, while the market rate is Rs. 100,” he said.