Defence Minister slams Bush's remarks

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 4 (UNI) Defence Minister A K Antony today said the reported remarks against India by US President George W Bush that the spiraling global food prices was due to the rising prosperity among the country's huge middle class was a ''cruel joke.'' Talking to reporters after a public function here, he claimed the US had a role in the present situation as they had allegedly converted all fertile agricultural fields for producing biofuels.

The US should correct its stand about utilising agriculture land for other purposes, instead of accusing other nations for the skyrocketing prices, he said.

However, food scarcity was a common phenomena and truth that the world experienced.

Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) General Secretary C Chandrachoodan came down heavily against the remark and said, the Centre should react.

It was because of India's advances in space and nuclear fields, Mr Bush made such remarks, he alleged.

Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthandan termed the statement as ''cheap remarks.'' UNI CGV GM BDP BST2207

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