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Bush slammed for food crisis comment

All major political parties, including Congress, BJP and the Left, lashes out at US President George W Bush for blaming growing demand in India for the spiralling global food prices.

india Updated: May 03, 2008 20:08 IST

All major political parties, including Congress, BJP and the Left, on Saturday lashed out at US President George W Bush for blaming growing demand in India for the spiralling global food prices as the opposition used the opportunity to attack the government.

Most parties said a major reason for spiralling global food prices was diversion of land producing foodcrops in the US to bio-fuel production, while Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh said Bush was "completely wrong" in his assessment.<b1>

"George Bush has never been known for his knowledge of economics. And he has just proved once again how comprehensively wrong he is. To say that the demand for food in India is causing increase in global good prices is completely wrong," Ramesh said.

Congress criticised the US President saying the analysis was "completely erroneous" as India was not a food importer but a food exporter.

"India is a not a net food importer. It is a food exporter. The assumption that local prices are increasing because of a changed India is completely erroneous," AICC spokesperson Manish Tewari said, adding "the crisis is actually because of diversion of arable land in the developed world for ethanol production and because of changes in the climate pattern".

While the Left parties blamed the "neoliberal economic policies imposed on India by the Bush administration", the BJP used the US President's statement to attack the Congress-led coalition at the Centre over its "failure" to control inflation.