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Congress faces inflation heat

The Congress puts up a brave face in the face of attacks from the BJP, Left and other parties over inflation.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondents, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 12, 2008 03:00 AM IST

The Congress put up a brave face in the face of attacks from the BJP, Left and other parties over inflation on Friday and maintained that price rise preceded the corrective measures taken by the government.

“It will take a while for the government’s measures to fructify,’’ said spokesperson Manish Tiwari. He argued that the 3.8 per cent wholesale price index increase was due to base metals while primary food articles had contributed only 0.4 per cent to this hike. This showed the government’s main concern was ensuring food security for the common man, he said.

Tiwari added that Congress-ruled states have started taking measures to rein in prices by identifying large godowns and hoarders.

‘Shows UPA’s total failure’

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said the high rate of inflation reflected the total failure of the UPA government’s four years in office. “Even where the Congress is in power, like in Delhi and Mumbai, the party has been unable to contain prices. By blaming the states, it’s trying to divert attention,” he said.

Party general secretary Arun Jaitley, who is in charge of managing the Karnataka polls, said: “Price rise will be an ambush issue...”

Left, UNPA rally next week

The Left and the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) will jointly begin a countrywide agitation against the UPA over rising prices on April 19, Left leaders said on Friday.

The Left, led by the CPM, has demanded that the government take immediate steps, including a ban on futures trading in 25 agricultural items and universalising the Public Distribution System. CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury said, “The government’s analysis is faulty. As a result, its response is also faulty....”

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