Kanpur, Jun 28: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has become the first off the block to kick off the campaign for the 2009 General Elections. The party's senior most leader and Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani kicked off his campaign from Kanpur on Friday, June 28.
You would recall that this government recently raised the prices of petrol and diesel and also hiked the price of domestic cooking gas. With the rise in the prices of cooking gas, there's a huge possibility that subsidised cooking gas won't be available in the future, and could be restricted as well. This never happened during the time of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. We won't let the common man suffer," Advani said. The unabated hike in food and oil prices has accelerated this week's inflation from 11.05 per cent to 11.42 per cent, which is again a 13-year high.
The rise has been mainly on account of higher prices of food items like tea, milk and cereals.
While there was a strong speculation of an early election following a recent precipitation of a split in the Communist-backed ruling coalition over the India-US civilian nuclear deal, the surge in inflation has heaped political pressure on the allies to avert a showdown ahead of key state elections later this year and Central polls scheduled for 2009. The government has cut duties on crude and other items and curbed the exports of rice as it grapples with its biggest policy challenge in the last four years.
Inflation moved into double digits in early June after state-set fuel prices were increased by about 10 per cent. Many of the government's allies would prefer an election to take place in early 2009, hoping that the government will be able to rein in rising prices by then.
While the ruling coalition is wary of an early poll, the BJP on Thursday named prominent candidates for six of the 542 parliamentary constituencies that will be up for grabs in the 2009 General Elections.
Advani will contest from Gandhinagar in Gujarat, a seat he has won four times. In Punjab, Navjot Singh Siddhu will contest from Amritsar, and Vinod Khanna from Gurdaspur.
Sripad Naik has been assigned North Goa (Panji) and Lieutenant General TPS Rawat will contest from Garhwal (Pauri) in Uttarakhand.
Anurag Thakur will contest from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh.
The BJP plans to announce candidates for all of the seats by the end of August.