New Delhi/Patna, Apr 24 : Leader of Opposition and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani on Thursday asked the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government to either check the price spiral or quit office.
"It is not just inflation that the nation is confronted with, it is not just the mounting prices, but a government expressing helplessness to do anything about this major issue. The Government expressing lack of accountability, hence we are saying if you cannot control prices, leave the office. Either you should curb the rising prices or quit office. Let us go to polls, we are ready to go to polls, as far as NDA is concerned. Let the peopleecide," said Advani.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, stepped up protests against rising prices ahead of State Assembly elections.
The protesting MPs formed a human chain around the Parliament, wearing kitchen aprons on which were written comparative prices of staple foods during the previous NDA government and the present government.
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has said the Government would consider more fiscal steps to tackle inflation, adding that moves already adopted would take time to have an effect.
Meanwhile, women in Bihar stopped trains while protesting against the rising prices of essential commodities. Rail traffic came to a halt in Patna as hundreds of women volunteers of 'Rashtriya Mahila Brigade', a women's group squatted on the tracks and climbed onto the trains. They shouted slogans against the UPA Government and blocked rail traffic for several hours.
"We have stopped the trains protesting against the rising prices. You can see how angry all the women are on this matter. Women are the most affected, especially those from the lower and middle class. We want to send a message across to the UPA government that they should take steps to control the rising prices," said Sushma Sinha, state president,'Rashtriya Mahila Brigade'.
The inflation rate has nearly doubled since December 2007, largely driven by higher food and fuel prices, and is posing a policy challenge for both the Government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The RBI reviews monetary policy on April 29, and some analysts expect it to hike its lending rate to 8 percent to tame inflation that has peaked at a three-year high above 7 percent.
This would widen the interest rate differential between India and the United States, making investment in local assets more attractive.