New Delhi: Congress today launched a scathing attack on the NDA government over price rise and ridiculed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan for attributing food inflation to hoarding and other reasons.
"When did they make those earthshaking discoveries? When did they come across this enlightenment? Perhaps after May 26, when they formed the government. NDA government should coin a new slogan now `Modi Sarkar; Laai Menhgaai aur haahaakar (Modi government has brought rising prices and deep trouble)," party spokesperson Randip Surjewala told reporters.
"While there is sky rocketing and backbreaking price rise, the government is trying to hoodwink people... Modi government`s agenda is one of playing a cruel joke with people," he said.
Maintaining that the price of diesel, petrol and sugar and rail fare and freight were increased in the name of tough steps reducing to a joke the promise of containing price hike, the Congress spokesperson also released an agenda paper of a conference of the government in which the latter had explained the factors that contribute to food inflation.
Quoting from the paper from the conference attended by Jaitley and Paswan, Surjewala said that the government has cited increased public expenditure like MGNREGA, rising per capita income, population growth and changing dietary pattern as reasons for food inflation.
"We want to ask whether the Modi government wants to snatch the right of food from common persons (aam aadmi)? Is Modi government going to accept the demand of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to scrap MGNREGA? Is Modi government against rise in per capita income of people.
"Is it against people dietary habits getting better? Have they (NDA) come to power to do business in the name of strengthening the economy," the Congress spokesperson asked.
He also attacked Union Minister Prakash Javadekar for his comment that inflation was not an electrical switch that can be turned on and off and Jaitley over his remarks that prices are rising because the normal supply is disrupted by hoarders anticipating higher prices due to late start of monsoon.