NCP hits out at Rahul, asks him not to show `arrogance`

NCP General Secretary and spokesman D P Tripathi said Rahul Gnadhi`s statement was not based on facts.

Last Updated: Jan 12, 2011, 18:26 PM IST

New Delhi: NCP, a major constituent of the
UPA, on Wednesday hit out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for blaming
coalition compulsion for price rise, saying his statements
should reflect "humility" and not "arrogance".

A day after Gandhi made the comments which seemed to
target Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, NCP General
Secretary and spokesman D P Tripathi said the Congress
leader`s statement was not based on facts.

"Congress party is the principal party in the UPA and any
statement of the leader of that party should reflect humility
and not arrogance," Tripathi told a press conference here.

Describing Gandhi`s statement as "unfortunate", the NCP
leader said no single minister, including Pawar, could be held
responsible for the price rise as "it is the collective
responsibility" of the Government.

"I have always admired Rahul Gandhi and wished him
success in politics. But I felt sad that the important
political leader of the UPA and the Congress party has made a
statement which is not based on facts," Tripathi said.

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has complimented
Pawar for handling food and agriculture.

Sending out a message to Congress, the NCP spokesman made
it clear that it would have to live with coalition politics as
the single party rule is not possible in the "distant" and
"foreseeable" future.

"These are days of pluralism... Coalition rule has
arrived," Tripathi said.

Noting that the essence of people`s verdict in 2004 and
2009 General Elections was following of "coalition course and
not collision course", he said any attack on the coalition
politics would amount to attacking the verdict of India.

He recalled that the biggest mass movement against price
rise had taken place in 1974-75 when Indira Gandhi was the
Prime Minister.

NCP Vice President and Union Minister Praful Patel
sought to undertake a damage-control exercise, saying Gandhi
had not criticised anybody in particular.

"I don`t think Rahul Gandhi`s statement should be read
in the context of current coalition as he was replying to a
general question asked to him by students. He has not
criticised any party in particular," Patel said.