BJP criticises Chidambaram's remark, seeks Sonia's explanation
New Delhi, July 11 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday questioned Congress President Sonia Gandhi's silence over the comments made by her senior ministers time and over again, which hurt the sentiments of the common man.
"We asked Sonia Gandhi why she is silent when your government and ministers are deliberately and intentionally making such remarks," Prasad told media here.
He said Gandhi is "maintaining a conspicuous silence".
"The government lacks the will to stem the rot, to set right the things. If you cannot set it right at least do not humiliate people," said Prasad.
He further took on Union Home Minister P Chidambaram for what he called making a mockery of the common people by caustic "anti-middle class" remarks.
"UPA ministers are making such comments for long. Chidambaram has no right to mock the common people and add salt to their injury," said Prasad.
He said the government is claiming that they are doing so much for the farmers.
"Mr. Chidambaram, please be candid enough to say why suicide rate of farmers is rising day by day," said Prasad.
"Does the Home Minister know the price of meal consumed by a common man in Delhi?" he asked.
Facing flak for his comments 'mocking' the middle class on the issue of price rise, Chidambaram issued a clarification today in which he claimed that his comments were distorted.
A formal clarification was issued on Chidambaram's behalf by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The statement said Chidambaram was "shocked" and "disgusted" at the apparent distortion of his remarks on price rise by the media.
"Home Minister P Chidambaram is shocked and disgusted by the deliberate distortion of the relevant question and answer at the media briefing. The Home Minister made a matter-of-fact statement. He did not 'mock' or 'chide' anyone," the statement said.
"If the interview is viewed, it will be seen that he spoke in a matter-of-fact manner. The Home Minister used the word 'we'. He did not use the words 'why do they make so much noise about price rise'. He did not say 'There needn't be any complaint for price rise when things are on the side of poor farmers'," it added
Chidambaram had earlier on Tuesday said the Indian middle class spends money on mineral water and ice cream without fuss, but protests against a small increase in the price of rice and wheat.
"There's steady rise in the minimum support price of paddy, wheat and sugarcane, reflected in the prices of commodities. When the urban middle class can buy a bottle of mineral water for Rs 15 and ice cream for Rs 20, why do they make so much noise about price rise?" he said.
"The rise has directly benefited farmers. We raised fuel prices because the global crude prices had gone up. We also gave relief by bringing down the petrol price twice. There needn't be any complaint for price rise when things are on the side of poor farmers," he added, while trying to justify the increase in prices." (ANI)
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