Arhar Modi: Rahul’s Latest Jibe in Lok Sabha Over High Food Prices

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hit back at Rahul Gandhi saying there was a “policy paralysis” during the UPA rule.

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File photo of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. (Photo: PTI)

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over soaring food prices in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing Monsoon Session in Parliament on Thursday.

He demanded to know when the prices of pulses, peas and potatoes will come down, while also criticising him for not speaking on the issue during his two-year anniversary.

Make as many promises as you will, of Swachch Bharat, Make in India, Start up India, Stand up, make as many hollow promises, hold as many conferences, but please tell us the date when pulses will be priced at a lower rate. There’s this new slogan among the villagers these days, kids are saying, “Arhar Modi, arhar Modi!”

Government Chalks Down a Pulses Plan to Control Inflation

Listing out the prices of vegetables and pulses, Gandhi said in 2014 the price of tomato was Rs 18, which shot up to Rs 55 in 2016. Urad and tur dal, priced at Rs 70 and 75 in February 2014, has gone up to Rs 160 and Rs 180 this month.

He said there was a gap between the minimum support price for tur dal given to the farmers – which was Rs 45 – and its market price, which was Rs 75. Now, the MSP has risen to Rs 50, but the price of the pulses is now Rs 180.

So, there is a gap of Rs 130 in the NDA government. Where is this Rs 100 going?
Rahul Gandhi
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, 28 July 2016. (Photo Courtesy: LSTV)
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, 28 July 2016. (Photo Courtesy: LSTV)

Arun Jaitley Hit Back

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hit back at Gandhi saying that there was a “policy paralysis” during the UPA rule.

Rebutting Gandhi’s ‘Arhar Modi, Arhar Modi’ jibe over the rise in prices of pulses, the Finance Minister said, “everybody in this house seems to be claiming to be going to the market everyday.”

Prices are determined through demand and supply. If in the last ten years the UPA government had tried to fix the imbalance between demand and supply, then we wouldn’t see inflated rates of dal. Wholesale price index was higher in UPA and negative in NDA. Several steps have taken by the current government to contain inflation.

Jaitley also said that any form of “bluster” is not a substitute for statistics, as he reeled off numbers to assert that the government has brought down prices substantially. Jaitley also took the opportunity to respond to the jibes by pointing out the weakened position of India at BRICS and the absurd tax imposed on samosas in “some states”.

This is a topic of statistics and not sloganeering. When UPA left government, the economy was in a critical state and it is but natural for any contesting candidate to say that after getting elected he would try to bring down inflation. No one should have any objection to that.

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