Even as the BJP gears up for the first phase of its all-India agitation against price rise from January 18, the main opposition today said the government was wrongly blaming state governments instead of giving them proper subsidy on foodgrains.
"I am surprised that on January 11 he (Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar) had said I am no astrologer and cannot tell when prices will come down. What happened in two days that he became an astrologer?" BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar asked after Pawar said prices would come down in 10 days.
The Rajya Sabha MP accused the government of "fooling" and "deceiving" the people by making such promises and insisted that government was not following the normal course of off-loading the buffer stock in the market through the tender process to bring down prices.
"Pawar is blaming the state governments but not saying why they are not taking these foodgrains. It is because the government is charging state governments the procurement cost plus the cost of transporting the commodity from Ludhiana to its destination," Javadekar said.
He argued that state governments should be given subsidy if they were expected to provide these foodgrains to the poor at reasonable prices.
Javadekar also refuted Pawar's contention that his ministry was not aware that less sugarcane was sown this year as figures obtained through satellite imagery were provided to the government.