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Mulayam, Mayawati Attack Pawar On Price Rise

PTI 11 Jan 2010, 22:50:27 IST

Attacking Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar for his statement on price rise, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday  said that if he cannot control price hike, the he should relinquish his post.

"In a democracy if a person fails and is unable to work for the interest of the people, then there is no need for him to continue on a post," Yadav told reporters after inaugurating the Saifai Festival. 

"We are not demanding Pawar's resignation, but he himself feels that he is unable to check price hike and neither he has a magic nor he is an astrologer," Yadav said. 

The SP chief asked as to who who called Pawar an astrologer.  "We only discussed about the policies to check inflation and told him that Samajwadi's policy on this issue was that of controlling prices," he said.  The SP supremo alleged that not only Pawar, but the entire Cabinet, including the Prime Minister, were equally responsible for price rise.  

"When Sharad Pawar is turning out to be incapable, then how come Prime Minister could be termed as able?" he asked.   "I am not an astrologer," Pawar told reporters in the national capital today when asked as to when sugar prices will come down and blamed the Uttar Pradesh government for the spiral. 

Reacting sharply to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar's statement blaming Uttar Pradesh government for hike in sugar prices, Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday  said it was "most irresponsible and insensitive" comment made by a responsible minister. 

"Agriculture minister holding UP responsible for hike in sugar prices indicates that he has the tendency of shying away from his responsibilities. Such a statement is most irresponsible and insensitive towards people," Mayawati said in a statement in Lucknow. 

"Faulty economic, import and export policies and tendency to benefit capitalists and big businessmen have resulted in sky rocketing food prices causing problems to the people," she added. 

The BSP chief said the Centre should have undertaken a timely assessment of the situation. "But the government took no positive step towards price control and remained insensitive towards its responsibilities," she alleged. 

The CM said the Centre instead of focusing on measures to control price hike, its ministers made provocative statements. 

"By giving statements like inflation will continue for two more years, Union Ministers boosted the morale of hoarders and blackmarketeers. This tendency should be checked immediately," she demanded. 

Mayawati said 2006-2007 was the best crushing season for the country, when 283 lakh MT sugar was produced, and alleged that the Centre did not create buffer stock in 2006-07 an 2007-08 keeping in mind future sugar requirements. 

"The Centre without assessing the future demand, imported sugar at minimum prices in a bid to benefit the mills. As a result of this wrong decision of the Centre, sugar was imported in 2009-2010 at higher prices from the international market, resulting in heavy financial losses to the government and inflation for the people."  Contradicting Pawar's statement regarding ban imposed by the state on import of raw sugar, the CM said her government had suggested the Railway Board to suspend transportation of raw sugar through rakes for a limited period. 

"The step was taken to save railway property in the wake of resentment and anguish among cane farmers," she said.  Mayawati claimed that her government has taken several measures to control foodgrain and sugar prices.  "The officials have been asked to take stern action against hoarders and blackmarketeers to provide relief to the people."  "In November the government had fixed stock limit of sugar and khandsari (sugarcane) at 2000 quintal and stock turn over limit was fixed for 30 days," she added.