TDP leader blames Centre for inflation, food crisis

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Kakinada, Apr 18 (UNI) TDP politbureau member Yanamala Ramakrishnudu today blamed the Centre for the inflation, spiralling prices of essential commodities and the impending food crisis.

Addressing a press conference here, he recalled that the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the World Bank had cautioned India in 2004 about the impending food crisis and the need for averting the same by effective fiscal measures.

Mr Ramakrishnudu said the inflation rate, which was around 2.5 per cent in 2004, had gone up to seven per cent within a couple of years and registered a downward trend only in the first half of 2007.

''Due to the government's inefficiency, the inflation has now gone up to 7.4 per cent, that too within six months,'' he alleged.

Faulting the government for its failure to initiate market intervention measures to control the rising prices, Mr Ramakrishnudu regretted that though the Centre claimed to have earmarked Rs 500 crore for market intervention, nothing was mentioned in the budget.

Predicting that the Congress in Andhra Pradesh would face a major defeat in by-elections in Telangana, he claimed that his party was placed in a better position on the basis of its performance in developing the region.

''The Congress leaders have already agreed that the party did not fare well at the hustings. Mr Veerappa Moily, the AICC General Secretary, in-charge of party affairs in the State, himself has declared that the by-elections could not be treated as a referendum, thereby conceding to their bleak prospects,'' he claimed.

Admitting that the Telangana sentiment was strong among people, Mr Ramakrishnudu said his party was never against formation of separate Telangana.

''We have been saying that the party will take appropriate decision at an appropriate time and has already constituted a committee to consider the issue,'' he said.

To a query, Mr Ramakrishnudu said if the Congressg government introduced a bill to confer statehood on Telangana, the TDP would support it.

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