The BJP is looking to step up offensive against the agriculture minister over rising prices, but its chief, Nitin Gadkari, seems to be going soft on Sharad Pawar.
Refusing to blame Pawar, who hails from his home state Maharashtra, Gadkari has held Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — as the head of the government and an expert economist — responsible for surging food inflation.
“As far as the inflation is concerned, as an economist, the PM has an expertise. You can’t blame Sharad Pawar for that. Ultimately, he (the PM) has to take responsibility for it," Gadkari told TV reporters a day ago.
Known to have a good rapport with the Nationalist Congress Party leader, Gadkari’s remark is contrary to his party’s stand.
The BJP will launch a 26-day stir against rising prices in the state capitals from January 30. The BJP chief, said a party member on condition of anonymity, has sought regular updates on the stir that will be followed by a rally in the Capital in the second week of March to coincide with Parliament session.
The party has also criticised the government and Pawar over the minister’s remarks that rising prices were a collective responsibility.
“The price policy is decided collectively by everybody, including the Prime Minister. It is not a sole responsibility…” the minister had said.
Pawar had made a mess of the food economy and was shifting the blame on the cabinet and Prime Minister, while common man was suffering, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.