New Delhi: Hamirpur constituency MP Anurag Thakur today came down heavily on the Congress party for having left a “legacy of price rise” and now “feigning pain” for the people after being thrown out of power.
“Who is responsible?” Thakur questioned Congress leadership sitting in the Opposition, “For ten years you had time to stop inflation, and you could not.”
“Today, they are the one to start discussion (on price rise), and it seems Congress has scored a self-goal,” Thakur said, addressing Lok Sabha.
During debate Hamirpur MP was joined by several speakers from the Opposition, including AIDMK’s Karur MP M. Thambidurai, and CPM’s Kasaragod MP P. Karunakaran, and even erstwhile UPA partners, in condemning the Congress for blocking the discussion of the same subject last year when it was in power.
Hoping to corner the ruling party on the burning issue of price rise, ironically it was the Congress party which has been calling for discussion for two days – only to find itself facing fire from all sides.
“Who is responsible?” every participant asked by turns, holding Congress squarely responsible for today’s mess.
Starting the discussion, Congress’s Amritsar MP Amarinder Singh blamed BJP for price rise of vegetables in past few weeks at a time when harvest is over and mandis (marketplaces) are overflowing the fruit and vegetable stock.”
“How this has happened? Simple, when you raise the rail freight then the price of everything goes up,” Singh argued.
Countering Singh, Thakur said: “Look, who is blaming our government, the one when he was in power in Punjab, farmers were dumping the potatoes and vegetable on the roads, because they were not even able to sell them.”
Holding Congress responsible for its “anti-farmer” policies leading to suicides, Thakur took jibe at Singh “It feels nice to see when rajas and maharajas talk about retail prices of tomatoes and onions.” Singh is scion of Maharaja Patiala family.
Stung by the snide remark, Congress’s Gulbarga MP and former Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge was on his feet. “Madam, he cannot cast aspersions on individuals. He should talk on policies,” he said, complaining to Sumitra Mahajan, the Speaker.
” Kharge ji, I am coming to (your) railways also. Please sit down,” Thakur said, going on with his onslaught on the Congress.
Comparing figures from BJP’s Prime Minister Atal Behari Vaypayee rule from 1999 to 2004 with ten years of Congress rule since then, Thakur said potato’s price rose from Rs 2 to Rs 20 a kg, milk from Rs 14 to Rs 45 a litre, vegetable oil from Rs 35 to Rs 85 a litre, gas cylinder from Rs 240 to Rs 850.
“And your young leader, kept the country dazzled by his jugglery from 6 to 9 to 12 cylinders,” Thakur lashed out, without naming Rahul Gandhi, the MP from Amethi, who sat quietly behind Karunakaran, away from his ilk in the House.
Notably, just before the elections, Rahul had over-ruled his ministers and policy advisers to increase the quota of subsidised cylinders from 9 to 12.
“Rupee fell only from 40 to 44 against one dollar and in your rule it slipped down to 67. Had you ruled from another five years, it would have crossed 100 mark,” he said hitting out at polices started by the economist Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“You talk of sugar. Your sarkar was exporting sugar at Rs 12 and importing the same from Brazil for Rs 36 a kg,” he pointed out.
Running short of the allotted time, the BJP MP said his government could not be judged for the “misdeeds” of the processors, and not too soon.
” My government is committed to reduce the prices of essential commodities after these initial harsh measures,” he told the House.
“We are not running from debate, unlike you, we accepted on the very first day,” he said, concluding.