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Break price rise trap or quit, oppn tells govt

delhi Updated: Dec 09, 2011 09:54 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times

Attacking the UPA government for failing to control spiralling prices of essential commodities, the opposition BJP asked the government to quit if it fails to "find a way out" of the situation.

"You find a way. If you cannot, leave the chair and then we will show the way," Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said, ending her speech on a discussion on price rise in Parliament on Thursday.

Swaraj was referring to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's statement, "I don't know where this country is going" made after a man slapped agriculture minister Sharad Pawar. The BJP leader said "wrong economic policies and corruption in government" were the reasons behind price rise.

"CAG exposed six scams worth crores of rupees, 60,000 tonne of foodgrain is rotting in godowns and government has taken a loan of Rs 53,000 crore ... RBI increased interest rates 13 times...," she said.

Planning Commission Deputy chief Montek Singh Ahluwalia also came under a sharp attack, with questions being raised on the panel's affidavit in the Supreme Court on people living below poverty line.

Defending the government in Rajya Sabaha, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee denied the Opposition charge that the government had not done much to check inflation, saying prices of many essential goods have become cheaper or rose only marginally in the last two years. "It is not correct to say that government has not done anything."

He said many of the UPA reform policies (FDI in retail, new pensions bill) were a continuation of what the NDA had planned during its term.

"In 2004, you were in the government... My only request would be that the baby which you gave birth, do not leave it in bath water, let me carry it on to maturity because reforms are a continuing one," he said seeking opposition's support to pursue reform agenda.

But dissatisfied over the reply, the opposition staged a walkout. The FM will reply in Lok Sabha on Friday.