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Don’t expect us to come up with solutions, Venkaiah Naidu tells UPA government

Special Correspondent

MADURAI: The continuing price rise indicates a “lack of control and direction” in the United Progressive Alliance government, Bharatiya Janata Party leader M. Venkaiah Naidu said on Saturday.

There were “100 ways to overcome the crisis” but Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram should not expect the BJP to come up with solutions. “Is the government listening to our suggestions on terrorism and POTA?”

The BJP would control inflation in three months, if it was voted to power, Mr. Naidu told a press conference here.

Economic Survey

Reacting to Mr. Chidambaram’s criticism of the BJP’s economic resolution, passed at its national executive committee meeting, he said the first Economic Survey of the UPA government, presented in Parliament, was all praise for the National Democratic Alliance government’s handling of the economy.

It said: “The economy appears to be in resilient mode in terms of growth, inflation and balance of payments, a combination that offers large scope for consolidation of the growth momentum with continued macro economic stability.”

Mr. Chidambaram also admitted, while presenting the budget on July 8, 2004, that the “economic fundamentals appear strong and the balance of payments is robust.”

Mr. Naidu took exception to his calling the BJP resolution “an exercise in self-deception and aimed at spreading disinformation” as nobody could deny that prices were going up and there was food shortage. The UPA government “bungled” after inheriting “an excellent economy” from the NDA government.

“Mismanagement”

The government should not criticise the Opposition for its own failures and the situation now was “either govern or get out.”

The BJP leader accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Mr. Chidambaram and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia of mismanaging the economic and food situation. This resulted in “chaos in the economic sector” and “created economic terrorism in the country.”

Admitting failure to control prices, instead of accusing others, would be an honourable way, Mr. Naidu said. “It will be better to quit before the situation goes out of control.”

Why is DMK silent?

As for the recent increase in fuel prices, the BJP leader said it was a political decision as the Congress waited for the Assembly elections in Karnataka to get over.

He wondered why its allies such as the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam kept quiet over the rise in fuel prices.

It was the DMK, as an NDA ally, that launched an agitation when there was a price revision under the Vajpayee regime.

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