The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday presented a memorandum against price rise with nearly 10 crore signatures to President Pratibha Patil and sought her intervention in finding a solution after talking to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
Senior BJP leaders, including party president Nitin Gadkari, parliamentary party chairman L.K. Advani, leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley, led party MPs to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to present the memorandum.
The leaders marched from Parliament House to the presidential palace a short distance away after both houses were adjourned for the day.
Gadkari later told reporters that the government had promised to bring prices under control within 100 days of coming to power but it had been an all round failure. "The common man is suffering because of this."
"The basic reason of price rise is the wrong economic policy of the UPA government. We have urged the president to intervene and find solution after talking to the government," Gadkari said outside Rashtrapati Bhavan after presenting the memorandum.
"Foodgrains worth Rs.58,000 crore are rotting because of the failure of the government to arrange adequate storage facilities."
Quoting a Planning Commission report, he said 90 percent of the people in the country have a daily income of less than $2, while 51 percent of the population earns less than Rs.20 (less than 50 cents).
"If things continue like this, the poor man would not be able to afford a one time meal. Already, farmers are committing suicide."
Veteran leader Advani added that the party had "fulfilled its main responsibility as the main opposition party by presenting signatures of aam admi in whose name the government had come to power".
"I was surprised (by the government's statement on Wednesday that it had not failed in containing the prices). If it is not government failure, what else is it," he asked.
The former deputy prime minister said the July 5 Bharat Bandh organised by the opposition was very successful as the common man had expressed his anger against the increasing prices of essential commodities, petrol, diesel and kerosene.