New Delhi: Congress today attacked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for attributing rise in inflation partly to hoarding by traders, saying the government was trying to find “excuses for its non-performance” and inability to bring “good days as promised”.
Party general secretary Ajay Maken also said that when the BJP was in Opposition it used to claim that corruption in government was leading to rise in prices of commodities and asked if the party felt the same now when it was in power.
“Arun Jaitley has blamed hoarders for inflation and asked the state governments to keep a check on hoarding to check inflation. This statement of Jaitley should also be seen in conjunction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement that people should be ready to swallow bitter pills.
“BJP and the government are trying to find excuses for non-performance because they are unable to fulfill hopes and aspirations of people about bringing ‘achche din' (good days) as promised,” Maken, who is the Communication Department Chairman of Congress, said.
‘Achche din aane waale hain' (Good days are about to come) was a prominent slogan of the Narendra Modi-led BJP in the Lok Sabha polls.
Maken said, “When we used to say hoarding, performance of the state governments and international developments play an important role in price rise, the BJP as an opposition party never accepted that and squarely blamed the UPA government.
“It blamed corruption in the UPA government for price rise. Now we want to ask the BJP and its government that please tell us when there is a price rise, where is the corruption in your government”.
Attributing rise in inflation partly to withholding of food stocks by traders, Jaitley had yesterday said the Centre is committed to ease supply side bottlenecks and also asked states to take firm measures against hoarders to check speculation.
Maken also targeted the Prime Minister over his remarks on the state of economy that UPA government had left and came out with figures claiming that it was much better during the UPA than what it was during the NDA rule in the past.
Addressing BJP workers in Panaji on Saturday, Modi had said, “I have taken over the reins of the country in circumstances when there is nothing left behind by the previous government. They left everything empty. The country's financial health has hit the bottom.”
Attacking the Prime Minister over his remarks, Maken said, “Modi said the UPA government has left empty coffers. We would like to tell the nation that the foreign exchange reserve in 2004 was Rs 4.7 lakh crore and when we left power in 2014, it reached Rs 18.72 lakh crore, a four-time increase.
“Similarly the net export in 2004 was 2.83 lakh crore, which increased in 2014 to 18.80 lakh crore, a growth of nearly seven times.
Per capita income increased from Rs 24,000 to Rs 69,000 annually, an increase of almost three times.” Hitting back at the Prime Minister over his remarks, Congress had yesterday cited a Gujarat government survey which had praised India's economic growth.
Party spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil had also taken potshots at Modi, saying good days “might have come for Modi and BJP but bad days have begun for the countrymen”.