The new leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, on Thursday launched a scathing attack on the government for its failure to curb food inflation but Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar seemed unperturbed, smiling throughout the speech.
“Let him (Pawar) smile. Don't look at his smile. Just look at the tears of the poor who are suffering due to the government's wrong policies. Let him smile,” an angry Sushma Swaraj said after she opened the debate on rising food prices.
The debate was held after Speaker Meira Kumar refused the opposition demand for a discussion on the price rise issue under an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha. On Wednesday, the opposition agreed to a discussion in both houses under a rule which does not entail voting.
Sushma Swaraj, in her first speech, lashed out at the government on what she called “mahangai ka mahaghotala” (huge scam of inflation),
She said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had “failed totally” to control spiralling prices.
“It is the result of the failure of the government's economic policies... Wheat, rice, sugar, dal price have doubled in the past few months. The agriculture minister failed to create buffer stocks when we have surplus stock of sugar,” she said.
Sushma Swaraj said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should compare the inflation rate and the growth rate.
“Growth rate is benefiting few while inflation is victimising many,” she said.