Remedy not in our hands, says govt

Centre blames factors beyond its control for fuel price rise; Manmohan says limit has been crossed

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 11.09.18

New Delhi: Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad claimed that Monday's Bharat bandh had received little support and suggested the people understood that the Narendra Modi government had no role in the rise in fuel prices.

"Why (were) the people indifferent to the Bharat bandh call?" Prasad asked. "Because, they understand that this rise, even though temporary, was because of factors beyond the control of the government."

Questioned by reporters, he denied he was suggesting that the government was helpless. He repeated that the price rise was temporary and said the government was trying to find a solution while sharing the people's concerns.

"I am not giving any justification (for the price rise)... but isn't it true that petrol prices (from) 2008-09 to 2014 (during the tenure) of the UPA were very high? It has risen now during our time. It had come down also. This is a problem whose remedy is not in our hands," Prasad said.

He blamed the Congress and other Opposition parties for the violence during the shutdown. "Everyone has a right to protest but what is happening today? Petrol pumps and buses are being set ablaze...."

As usual, Rahul Gandhi was the prime target. Prasad claimed an infant had died in Jehanabad, Bihar, because "Rahul Gandhi's workers didn't allow the ambulance.... I want to ask Rahul Gandhi, who will take responsibility for the death of this Hindustan ki beti?"

RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav said the two-year-old girl's death had no connection with the bandhand demanded an apology from Prasad.