BJP stages anti-inflation rally

Party blames Centres lopsided economic policies for the situation

BJP stages anti-inflation rally

price issue: A BJP worker wears a vegetable garland during a rally in New Delhi on Wednesday. pti

Braving the sizzling weather, thousands of BJP activists joined the public meeting and the march to Parliament, the first big show of strength after Nitin Gadkari took over as party chief in December last year. There was traffic chaos in central Delhi as vehicles crawled and commuters faced a harrowing time.

The BJP top brass, led by Gadkari and party veteran L K Advani, attacked the government for rising prices of items like rice, sugar, pulses, petrol, diesel and fertiliser. Interestingly, during the public meeting Advani spoke before Gadkari which many read as an indicator of the change in the hierarchy within the right-wing party. Usually, Advani is the last to speak at a public meeting.

Gadkari used the occasion to lash out at the Manmohan Singh regime, saying the “wrong economic policies and bad governance” had resulted in price rise. “Congress had given the slogan of garibi hatao but has worked towards increasing prices,” alleged Gadkari.
He claimed that government figures show an increase of 41 crone in the number of BEL people. “I have inflation rates of 25 countries where it is less than 2 per cent while in India it is 11 per cent. Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh have betrayed the trust reposed in them by the people,” said Gadkari. He said no one in the Congress has been able to give a convincing answer on the issue of price rise.

Gadkari seems to have managed to take all camps within the party together for this rally which had been made a prestige issue by him. Senior BJP leaders, including leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, former party presidents Rajnath Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi and M Venkaiah Naidu, as well Chief Ministers and Deputy Chief Minister of BJP-ruled states attended the public meeting. Later, the leaders moved towards Parliament for a “gherao” but were arrested.

All the speakers sang praises of Gadkari and said the credit for organising a public meeting on such a huge scale goes to him. However, the heat took its toll on Gadkari who fainted while moving towards Parliament to court arrest. He was then taken out of the ‘rath’ carrying the top leaders and whisked away in a car.

BJP activists from states and regions including Kerala, North-East, Rajasthan, Gujarat, HP and Kashmir were mobilised for this meeting.

Gadkari faints

Sizzling weather in the capital was unbearable for the BJP top brass during its rally against price rise on Wednesday with party president Nitin Gadkari fainting while moving towards Parliament to court arrest, reports PTI from New Delhi. However, he was quickly revived when a wet towel was placed on his head.

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