New Delhi, Apr 18: Holding the Congress-led UPA government fully responsible for the price spiral in the country, the BJP today decided to hold a nationwide protest agitation, the date of which will be finalised by it in consultation with the other NDA constituents here on Monday.
A meeting of the party office bearers chaired by BJP president Rajnath Singh also decided to organise 'Kisan Adalats' across the country from May one to June 15 to enlist farmers who did not get the benefit of the Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver announced by the UPA government. Farmers will be asked to deposit debt-relief forms at these Kisan Adalats, party spokesman Prakash Javadekar told the media.
The BJP set up a 6-member committee to chalk out an action plan for the countrywide agitation against price rise. The committee, comprising of Ms Sushma Swarwaj, Mr Arun Jaitley, Mr Vijay Goel, Mr Balbir Punj, Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad and Mr Javadekar, could consider giving a call for a one-day "Bharat Bandh" against the rise in prices of essential commodities, party sources said.
Attributing the price rise to "wrong policies of the UPA", a political resolution adopted by the BJP meeting charged the government with having mortgaged the nation's food security to market forces. It alleged that the government has lost the power to intervene in the market after having emptied godowns which were filled up during the previous Vajpayee government.
"Permission to multinational companies to purchase foodgrains has become an albatross round (UPA government's) neck," the resolution said, adding as against procurement of 230 lakh tonnes of foodgrains during the NDA regime, it was now hovering around 100 lakh tonnes. The government has reduced allocations to states and monthly quota to people from ration shops,too, declined from 35 kg to 20 kg. Instead of focusing on procurement of foodgrains, the government only took fiscal measures which failed to redress the situation.
The resolution said the UPA government instead of solving the crisis started blaming states and attributing inflation to external factors. This only proves that the government has no concrete measure to check the price spiral.
Demanding "White Paper" on price rise,the BJP demanded adequate delivery of wheat, rice, sugar, edible oils and pulses through public distribution system at reasonable prices, restore states quota, regulate cement and steel prices and ban futures trading in foodgrains.