PM’s plea on petrol prices a ‘condolence speech’: Jaitely

June 5th, 2008 - 10:56 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Lucknow, June 5 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Arun Jaitely Thursday described Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s explanation on the fuel price hike as a “condolence speech.” Jaitley was referring to the prime minister’s address to the nation Wednesday evening where he said that the hike was inevitable but had been kept marginal.

Jaitely, who is also in charge of the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit, told reporters that Manmohan Singh was now an economist without any ideas. This was reflected in the soaring prices of essential commodities.

He said the Congress-ruled United Progressive Alliance had failed not only in checking the prices of various commodities but was also responsible for increasing terror attacks in the country.

“The credibility graph of (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi, her family and Manmohan Singh have also fallen,” he said.

The central government Wednesday hiked the price of petrol by Rs.5 a litre and of diesel by Rs.3 a litre. Each cooking gas cylinder will cost Rs.50 more.

Jaitely, who was in Lucknow to meet the party’s state office-bearers for the Lok Sabha elections 2009, said the BJP would have no truck with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) after bitter experiences with the latter in the past.

Asked if former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a MP from Lucknow, would contest in 2009, he said: “I won’t reply to this through the media.”

In reply to another question, he said if needed the BJP would field in the 2009 elections some of its veteran leaders from the Rajya Sabha.

Jaitely said that the claimants to power in New Delhi would be between the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance.

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