|Venkaiah Naidu (centre) with Yashwant Sinha and Ravindra Rai in Ranchi
on Saturday. (Prashant Mitra)
Ranchi, Aug. 17: As a BJP leader, Venkaiah Naidu had witnessed the fall of the Union government headed by his party in 1998 over rising prices of onions. Now, when the prices of the dear vegetable have again shot through the roof, the veteran is leaving no stone unturned to launch a tirade against the UPA government at the Centre.
During a one-day visit to Ranchi to get party workers ready for the forthcoming parliamentary elections, Naidu said today: “When onions were sold for Rs 40 a kg in this country, Congress made a hue and cry and our government toppled in Delhi. Now when onion prices have shot up to Rs 100 per kg, why are UPA economists like Manmohan Singh, P. Chidambaram and Montek Singh Ahluwalia silent?”
The BJP leader, who was addressing a news conference at party state headquarters in Ranchi’s Harmu Housing Colony, criticised the Union government’s economic measures, saying Aadhaar cards and direct cash transfer were not going to help the UPA.
“Aadhaar se Congress ka aadhaar nahi badhne wala, aur direct cash transfer se vote transfer nahi hone wala (Aadhaar cards cannot buy the Congress support and direct cash transfer cannot bring it votes),” he declared.
Predicting early Lok Sabha elections, he added: “The UPA wants early elections as it knows that economic condition of the country will further deteriorate and if it waits, it won’t be able to face the wrath of people, who are suffering for more than nine years.”
Giving another reason for the Congress-led UPA lobbying for early polls, he said the party knew that it would not fare well in the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Mizoram.
“Thus, the Congress would want the parliamentary polls to be held with the Assembly elections before the morale of its workers gets further depleted,” he said.
As for the BJP’s poll plank, he said they would be fighting the Lok Sabha elections on a number of issues. “We will press for all-round development and good governance besides a check on price hike, farmer suicides, terrorism and unemployment,” Naidu said.
Former chief minister Arjun Munda and state BJP president Ravindra Rai were also present at the news meet.