Oppn attacks govt over price rise

New Delhi: The Opposition in Rajya Sabha today got together to take on the NDA government over the issue of price rise, with some accusing it of “fudging” numbers and calculations on inflation to suit itself.

Initiating a short duration discussion in the Rajya Sabha, TMC leader Derek O’Brien said it is worse to be vegetarian in India than a non-vegetarian because even though prices of meat and fish seems to be under-controlled, the prices of vegetables and dals have also sky-rocketed.

He said though the government rode to power on the slogan of “achhe din”, a large percentage of the population has been left out of it.

Without naming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, O’Brien said that a former Chief Minister of a western state had tweeted about price rise during the UPA government and had expressed hope “that the person in his new role would be as concerned about price rise as before”.

Noting that the people will not go by the inflation figures given out by the government, he said “fudging of numbers and calculations is not what people of India want”.

He said the NDA government should be held responsible for the price rise while submitting the rates prevailing at over 30 vegetable markets across the country.

O’Brien said the government came in with good luck because the international oil prices had fallen drastically but the benefits were not transferred to the people.

Congress leader Ranjani Patel slammed the government over the rise in prices of essential commodities and dubbed the Modi government as “a government of slogans”.

She said today was the fourth time when Rajya Sabha was discussing price rise since the Modi government took over two years ago.

Prabhat Jha of the BJP defended the government claiming that contrary to opposition’s allegations, price rise was prevalent in the 10 years of UPA rule.

Citing figures, Jha said the Modi government has taken a number of steps to bring down the prices.

Naresh Aggarwal of the Samajwadi Party, in a lighter vein, said while he would have preferred to hear from the Finance Minister, he was glad that he could hear from the “would be finance minister” Jha.

He also took a dig at LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan saying that he hoped the Union Minister will remember his politics favouring the dalits and the poor and not give a reply on the price rise with a “capitalist mindset”.

He said it was sad that till now the government and its agencies have not been able to define the word ‘poverty’.