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PM Assures BJP Leaders Of Bringing Down Prices Soon

PTI 20 Jan 2010, 15:40:22 IST
PTI

A delegation of BJP top brass led by L K Advani on Wednesday submitted a memorandum on rising prices of sugar and essential commodities to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who assured that the government would take appropriate steps to keep a check on it.

Besides Advani, party president Nitin Gadkari, senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, S S Ahluwalia, Ananth Kumar were also part of the delegation.

"The Prime Minister assured us of all possible measures to control prices and also to examine the suggestions given by us," Advani said after the meeting.

Rising prices of essential commodities, especially sugar, has given BJP a handle to take on the government as well as to revive the sagging morale of its party cadre after the second consecutive Lok Sabha poll defeat last year.

BJP has launched the nation-wide stir from the district to the national level in three phases. The party workers will culminate with a gherao of Parliament in the second week of March.

After today's meeting with the PM, Advani said, "Not merely the weaker sections and BPL families but the entire middle class is affected by inflation, particularly of food articles."

Gadkari asserted that it was not correct on the part of the Centre to accuse the state governments for exorbitant increase in prices.

He insisted that increasing prices were a result of shortcomings in the government policies. Price rise was benefiting the corporates and traders, he added.

Gadkari maintained that though the UPA government talked about welfare of the poor, its failure to control prices had affected the "aam admi" the most.

"Government has been lagging behind in taking adequate measures to control prices of essential commodities. It exported 48 lakh tonnes of sugar and gave transport and export subsidy for it at Rs 13 per kg. Now, (due to shortage) it had to import sugar at Rs 35-40 which is being sold in the market for Rs 40-45," he said.

The BJP President argued that despite increase in prices the farmers had not got their due and the main beneficiaries were corporate sector, traders, and those involved in forward trading.

The delegation also gave suggestions to the government on how to bring down prices and said the Prime Minister had promised to look into them.

In the memorandum submitted to the PM, the BJP insisted that globally the prices of food articles have remained under control for many months.

The party suggested that the government have a comprehensive food pricing and management policy which should be measured by a "food price index". PTI