BJP not to form Govt if Left withdraws support

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Vijayawada, Apr 17: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today said it would not form Government at the Centre if the Left parties withdrew support to the Congress-led UPA Government on the price rise issue.

''There is a feeling in the minds of Left party leaders that the BJP would come to power if the Left parties withdrew support on any particular issue concerning the people of the country,'' senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said at a press conference here.

He said the Left parties should ask the Centre to either control the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities or withdraw support so that both the parties could go to people and seek a fresh mandate.

Criticising the Left parties' two-day nation-wide agitation from today on price rise issue, he said the stirs by the Left parties were 'meaningless' as it was supporting the Centre. ''You have the right to question the Government on the issue and if they do not pay heed to what you say, then withdraw support,'' he remarked.

Mr Naidu warned the UPA Government that the BJP would launch the second phase of country-wide agitation against price rise after the end of the current Parliament session if the Centre failed to control the prices of essential commodities by then.

He alleged that the increase in prices of commodities was due to the UPA Government's lack of foresight, insensitivity, incompetence and non-performance. During the last three years, foodgrains production had totally declined, he added.

Mr Naidu said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had in 2005 given a solemn assurance to double the production of foodgrains to 420 million tonnes from 200 million tonnes by 2015. But till today, it had been a non-starter and the same was the case with fixing target to raise the production of vegetables to 300 million tonnes. The Prime Minister had also assured to provide Rs 25,000 crore for the farm sector to increase its production and productivity, which had also taken a backseat, he said.

Mr Naidu said the BJP was not satisfied with the slew of measures announced by the Centre in the Lok Sabha yesterday, which included Rs 15 a litre subsidy for edible oil.

Recalling the hue and cry made by the Congress when the onion prices skyrocketed during the previous BJP-led NDA Government, he said the Congress had gained in the Delhi Assembly elections with it.

The Centre had also failed to control the alarming rise in the prices of steel and cement, he added.


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