Centre's ''poor management'' cause of price rise: Shanta Kumar

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Jammu, Apr 7 (UNI) Expressing concern over the persistent price rise of essential commodities, the BJP today accused the UPA government of ''poor management'' saying the issue never featured in the priority list of the Centre.

''The Centre has failed in checking the price rise due to poor management as it has succumbed to the vested interests,'' former Himachal Pradesh chief minister and BJP's national vice-president Shanta Kumar said.

Criticising the UPA government for allowing foreign companies to purchase food grains from India, he said, ''It was the result of corruption and the Centre's wrong policies that we had to import wheat on higher rates and our farmers are committing suicide.'' Over the Centre's decision on exempting the loans of farmers, Mr Shanta Kumar said, ''the benefit will never reach the needy''.

He expressed serious concern over the increasing gap between rich and poor in the country.

On his party's strategy for the ensuing assembly elections in the state, the BJP leader said, ''we are fully geared up and would contest from maximum constituencies in J&K.'' Reiterating BJP's stand on Kashmir, Mr Shanta Kumar condemned the reported statement of People's Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti and demanded legal action against her.

''Situation in Kashmir is not what some people are projecting outside,'' he said, referring to the larger participation of Kashmiri people in the Republic Day celebrations this year.

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