New Delhi: NDA leaders led by Nitin Gadkari
today held a protest rally and courted arrest here as part of
their nationwide strike against price rise, with the BJP chief
blaming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the situation.
Addressing a rally at Chandni Chowk area, Gadkari said,
"Price rise has nothing to do with your religion, caste or
community. Wrong economic policies and bad governance of the
government are the basic reasons of price rise."
Seeking to unite the whole opposition on the issue,
Gadkari said he did not believe in "political untouchability"
and was willing to visit the office of any political party to
discuss price rise.
He claimed that whenever non-Congress governments came to
power, there was no price rise and inflation.
"When they (Congress) came to power, they promised to
bring down prices in 100 days but instead of coming down, it
has increased by three to four times," Gadkari said.
The BJP President said NDA would raise the issue of price
rise in both Houses of Parliament in the forthcoming session.
Key NDA allies JD(U) and Shiromani Akali Dal were also a
part of the rally here.
Gadkari claimed that the basic cost of petrol was only Rs
16.50 per litre but it was being sold for Rs 53 per litre
after taxation. The price of petrol was much less in several
countries, he said.
Accusing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of being
responsible for price rise, he said the money of the poor was
going into the hands of the multinationals.
"Unfortunately the Prime Minister and the government are
concerned about oil companies, not the common man," he said.
He also asked why UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi were "silent" on the
issue of spiralling prices.
NDA Convenor and JD(U) President Sharad Yadav said this
was for the first time in India`s history that all political
parties have come together against the government.
"This government has left everything to the market,"
Yadav alleged, and asked the Prime Minister to "either bring
down prices or leave his chair".
Former BJP President Rajnath Singh alleged that the
government was "dancing to the tunes of America" and warned
that the party will not allow Parliament to function during
monsoon session beginning July 26 on the issue of price rise.
The NDA leaders, also including Akali Dal`s Harsimrat
Kaur, later courted arrest in Chandni Chowk.
As part of the protest, BJP activists blocked traffic and
rail services in some parts of the capital. The party workers
blocked roads in Laxmi Nagar, ITO, Preet Vihar, Akshardham and
Madhuban Chowk among other areas.