Opposition walks out of Kerala assembly over price rise

February 25th, 2008 - 3:08 pm ICT by admin  

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 25 (IANS) The Congress led opposition in Kerala walked out of the assembly Monday after accusing the V.S. Achuthanandan government of mismanagement that has led to a rise in prices of essential items. The opposition walked out of the assembly following the denial of an adjournment motion.

Before leading the walkout, opposition leader Oommen Chandy said the price rise would have not taken place if the government had intervened in the market.

“Price rise is inevitable but this government has failed to intervene. Not once has the finance department allotted funds to the concerned department to make a market intervention. Instead, it is learnt that the civil supplies corporation has borrowed funds from the open market. This is a serious crime,” said Chandy.

State Civil Supplies Minister C. Divakaran responded by saying that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing a fraud of Rs.1.34 billion during the previous Congress government’s tenure.

“The centre has raised the price of fuel seven times but the opposition has not said a word against it. Since Kerala is a consumer state we are fully dependent on supplies from elsewhere. It is the centre that should come to our help and for that we seek constructive ideas from you also,” said Divakaran.

The opposition presented a comparative price list of essential items, which showed that prices were 50 to 60 percent higher compared to 21 months ago when the Achuthanandan government took over.

Chandy said: “Due to your callous attitude you did not lift stocks to the tune of nearly 1.2 million metric tonnes of rice from the central pool in 2006-07 and as a result they reduced the quota to Kerala.”

The opposition had called for a statewide shutdown Feb 19 to highlight the issue of price rise.

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