Sunday, April 06, 2008

People were better off during ‘India shining’ days, claims Advani

NEW DELHI: There is no let-up in the attack mounted by the Opposition on the Manmohan Singh government for its failure to control prices.
With inflation touching 7%, Mr L K Advani, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, on Sunday contended that the development was “an official admission of the UPA regime’s utter failure to control prices of essential commodities.’’
Mr Advani sought to use the issue to puncture the Congress’ claims of being champion of the aam aadmi. “As far as the common man is concerned, price-rise means daily loot from his meagre family budget,’’ he said while addressing party workers on the occasion of the BJP’s foundation day.
The BJP leader juxtaposed the Manmohan Singh government’s track-record on the economic front with that of the NDA regime, and claimed that the people were now realising that that they were better-off during the six years of the Vajpayee government.
``The common people are today fondly recalling the BJP-led regime’s success in keeping prices under check,’’ he said, adding, ``Indeed, the people are also seeing the contrast between the two governments in every aspect of governance.’’
The BJP veteran made it clear that the sky-rocketing prices would form a crucial weapon in the party’s arsenal during the next round of assembly polls, including Karnataka. ``
Today, I wish to forewarn the Congress: There are several reasons why people are angry with you. But as far as prices are concerned, they will make you pay a heavy price whenever elections are held,’’ Mr Advani maintained. He argued that the Congress’ track-record in governance had traditionally been marked by betrayal of the common man, and warned the people not to be taken in by the party’s claims. ``The UPA government’s failure to contain prices reminds them that, historically, whenever the Congress has come to power at the Centre, price-rise, corruption and mal-governance have also come along,’’ Mr Advani said.
The BJP leader argued that it was not just prices of essential commodities which were rising. “It’s not just roti (food) and kapda (clothing) that is now beyond the reach of the common man; even makan (housing) has become unaffordable, since the prices of steel and cement have shot up enormously since UPA came to power,’’ he said.
The Vajpayee government, Mr Advani pointed out, had also ensured that bank interest-rates were kept low, as a result of which tens of lakhs of people, especially the urban middle classes, saw their dreams of owning a house realised. “Today, that dream has disappeared for them,’’ he contended.

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