Accusing the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) of being incapable of controlling the prices of essential commodities, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari Friday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh whether he was "more concerned about the health of the oil companies or the welfare of the poor".
Briefing media persons here about the preparations for the combined opposition-sponsored 'Bharat Bandh' July 5, Gadkari said Congress president Sonia Gandhi should answer why Manmohan Singh, despite being an economist, has failed to curb soaring prices.
Charging the prime minister, Gandhi and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi of "keeping mum on this vital issue," he said that the government "does not have even a proper count of the number of poor people in the country".
The BJP chief wanted Manmohan Singh to answer why prices of food items were spiralling despite the government's claims of increase in production and which credible steps it had taken to curb the price rise.
Noting that various political parties had come together on the "burning issue" of price rise, Gadkari called upon people from all sections, especially the traders, to make the dawn-to dusk bandh a success. He said that emergency services like water, electrictity and health have been exempted from the strike.