Bhattacharjee flays food inflation, fuel price hike


Berhampore : Taking potshots at the Congress-led central government for soaring food and petrol prices, former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Thursday said the government should keep prices fixed and provide subsidies to people.

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“Nobody knows where the nation is heading. What are the prime minister and Pranab babu (Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee) saying? What he (Mukherjee) says after every price hike of petro-products, seems like he is joking,” Bhattachaarjee said.

“After every price hike of petroleum and diesel, he says we did not do it, oil companies did it. But these companies are of the central government,” Bhattacharjee said at a public rally of the Left Front at Berhampore in Murshidabad district.

“Actually their (government’s) policy is that the price will be determined by the market…government has no role to play. They will not fix prices. We are saying control, they are saying decontrol,” he said.

He said the government should fix prices and sanction money for the public distribution system (PDS) for the interest of the people.

“The government has to sanction money for rationing. But they have decided that they will do away with the rationing,” he said.

Lashing out at the Planning Commission’s poverty line cut-off, he said: “They are saying that if a person’s spending exceeds Rs.32 and Rs.26 a day in urban and rural area respectively, then the individual will no longer be counted as poor.”

“Can you imagine that? Can a person survive in a day with Rs.32 in urban and Rs.26 in rural area?” he asked.