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Good times barb at BJP

Patna, July 1: The JDU today ridiculed the BJP for the train fare and fuel price hike after coming to power at the Centre promising “achhe din” (good times) to the people.

Taking the lead, former chief minister and senior JDU leader Nitish Kumar said emerging from the Legislative Council that he was not surprised by the rise in prices of petrol, diesel and food items under the Narendra Modi government. His party colleague, finance minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav, took jibe at the “achhe din ki sarkar” in the Assembly while speaking on behalf of the government on the general debate on the budget for the financial year 2014-15.

Nitish, as usual, was terse and to the point while criticising the Modi government for the price escalation. “The rise in petrol and diesel prices, along with soaring food prices, has come as a surprise to those who harboured expectations from the government which had made tall promises of achhe din before the general election,” Nitish told reporters.

Asked if the pet slogan of Narendra Modi — “achhe din” — had substance or was it hollow like the “India Shining” catchline of the previous NDA government, Nitish with a caustic smile said the Opposition was giving some more time to the new government before taking it to task for its failures.

While Nitish flayed Modi coming out of the Legislative Council, finance minister Bijendra fired salvo at it inside the Assembly. In an essentially political speech, the minister described Prime Minister Modi as “swapnon ka saudagar (merchant of dreams)”. “The prices of petrol, diesel, train tickets and sugar have been hiked by the achhe din ki sarkar. We shall have to wait to see how many other good news come with the Union budget,” he said amid repeated reminders from the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Nand Kishore Yadav, to stick to the questions raised by him on the state budget.

Bijendra declared that the financial deficit of the Union government stood at 4 per cent. “When you (the BJP) knew that the economy was in a bad shape why did you make such tall promises in the electioneering?” the minister asked the BJP, requesting its MLAs to help his government get incentives from the Centre. Bijendra’s reply was greeted by an angry walkout by the BJP.

The Assembly also witnessed noisy scenes after the dismissal of the BJP’s adjournment motion on the deteriorating power situation in the state and refusal to hold special discussion on the topic.

Earlier, cutting across party lines various legislators demanded the revival of the MLAs’ local area development funds.