ANDHRA PRADESH

Price rise: BJP plans nationwide protest

MAKING A POINT: BJP national vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu interacting with farmers at the R & B Guesthouse in Nizamabad on Saturday.  

Staff Reporter

Party plans `jail bharo' too; Venkaiah terms fuel price cut eyewash

NIZAMABAD: Bharatiya Janata Party national vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu said that his party would launch a nationwide agitation next month against the spiralling prices. The party leaders and activists would also undertake a `Jail Bharo' in April, offering to get themselves arrested.

Accusing the United Progressive Alliance Government and Congress Government in the State of failing to rein in prices of essential commodities, he demanded that the forward trading in agricultural produce be banned as part of measures to control the price rise. "It is unwise to allow forward trading at a time when there is deficit in production," he observed at a press meet here.

At a press conference here on Saturday, he expressed the doubt as to whether the people who were in the ruling were in collusion with the hoarders leading to the skyrocketing prices.

Comparison

Describing the recent reduction of petrol prices as just an eyewash, he said it was only a "nominal measure". "I do not think that it will help reduce inflation which peaked at 6.5 per cent. The Government is trying to project that the prices are under control by citing the Whole Sale Price index. However, there is no compatibility between the WPI and retail prices," he said.

"During our ruling there was a surplus in essential commodities. We supplied cooking gas going round households. There was no shortage, no queues, no hoarding and no black-marketing. Now there is long waiting list for gas connections," he said.

`Third front welcome'

Senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu has reiterated that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by his party will welcome the efforts by some political parties to form the third front at the national level.

He ridiculed that those who were not in "front" in politics have been making efforts to form the third front. "We have no objection and more over welcome it. However, it is certain that the effort is going to be a mirage," he observed.

If the third front was formed it would be good for the BJP-led NDA as some of the parties backing the Congress Government at the Centre may join the new front withdrawing their support resulting in collapse of the present dispensation.