BJP national president Nitin Gadfkari on Thursday accused the UPA government of adopting wrong policies like shifting essential commodities in the Forward Market Trading that, he said led to the price rise with the food grains rotting in storages all over the country.
"Out of the Rs 10,88,224 crore turnover of 2009 at all commodity exchanges, delivery was Rs 35,891 crore that is a mere 33 per cent and it is this artificial turnover that pushed up the prices of food items," Gadkari said at a press conference in Chandigarh.
Criticising the UPA regime for shifting the essential commodities in Future Trading in July 2004, Gadkari said that Commodities Exchanges were created to help farmers and consumers but those became the den of speculators and manipulators who "make money on internet and cell phones at the cost of farmers and a common man."
Raising a set of 14 questions for the prime minister to answer, Gadkari asked 'Who are the beneficiaries in the huge disparity between the price given to farmers and the price paid by the consumers?' 'Are they manipulators, speculators, corporates or the multinationals?'
Gadkari said the present Union government itself confessed that the food grains worth Rs 58,000 crore was lying rotten and wasted, while Union Food minister Sharad Pawar stated in Mumbai recently that such a huge loss was due to lack of management.
Citing the BJP delegation's tour to different parts of the country to take stock of the food commodities in the country, Gadkari even displayed the samples of rotten wheat collected from the go downs and open storages in Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
"The UPA government has failed miserably in all segments of food management -food price rise, research and development, production, storage, distribution and consumption," he said.
"While the people are dying of hunger, the rotten food grains are being purchased by the distillers for liquor at a throw away price," he said.
The Planning Commission put the BPL population in its 2005 report at 31 crore and the Tendulkar Committee puts it at 42 crore in December 2009.
The BJP president reiterated that the Pakistan government would have to prove its role in combating terrorism in its country and only then the Indo-Pak talks could lead to a resolve for peace in the region.
"The BJP also wants peace with Pakistan as this would bring prosperity on both sides but for that Pakistan will have to prove itself," he said.
On the dispute between Punjab and Haryana on the SYL canal, Gadkari said the BJP was in favour of linking of rivers, as this would do well to the agriculture sector.
"The BJP carries the linking of rivers of the country as a part of its own ideology, and it could discuss the same with its allies like the Shimromani Akali Dal (SAD)," Gadkari said, when asked whether the party had consulted its ally, the SAD, on the river-linking proposal.