Give a date by when pulses price will decline: Gandhi scion tells Indian Prime Minister Modi

Gandhi also questioned NDA's flagship programmes like Make in India, Stand Up India. In photo: Indian Congress party vice-president Rahul Gandhi speaks during a protest in New Delhi on May 6, 2016. Photograph:( AFP )

New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 28, 2016, 12.41 PM (IST)
Launching an offensive against the Prime Minister over price rise, Rahul Gandhi today said after coming to power Narendra Modi has ignored the issue and demanded that he should give a date by when the prices of pulses will drop. 

"You may make as many hollow promises as you want, but give us a date by when the prices of daal will come down," Gandhi said in Lok Sabha during a debate on price rise.

In his first major intervention in the monsoon session, Gandhi said the price of pulses and vegetables have gone over the roof after NDA came to power, and farmers have not been able to get any benefit of the steep rise in the price of these commodities.

Recalling Modi's speech at a poll rally in Himachal Pradesh in February 2014, Gandhi said while attacking the then UPA government over the issue, he had said that "Ma-bachche raat raat rote hain, aasoon pee ke sote hain" (mother and child cry the whole night and sleep drinking their tears).

"What a dialogue," Gandhi said thrice, taking a dig at Modi who was not present in the House.

"I want to remind the Prime Minister of the promises he made to people of the country during the poll campaign, which Modiji does not talk about now and has forgotten. He had also promised that when the BJP government comes to power, it will bring down the prices," Gandhi said.

Listing out the prices of vegetables and pulses, Gandhi said in 2014, the price of tomato was Rs 18, which has shot up to Rs 55 in 2016. Urad and tur dal, priced at Rs 70 and 75 in February 2014, has gone up to Rs 160 and Rs 180 this month.

He said there was a gap between the minimum support price for tur dal given to the farmers. It was Rs 45 whereas its price in the market was Rs 75. Now, the MSP has risen to Rs 50, but the price of the pulses is now Rs 180. 

"So, there is a gap of Rs 130 in the NDA government. Where is this Rs 100 going?" Gandhi asked. "During elections, Modiji had said, 'Make me a chowkidar' (watchman). Now, there is a theft of dal under the very nose of the chowkidar. But the chowkidar has not uttered a word. He is mum. Now he has become a big person. Leave that job of chowkidari to the Congress," Gandhi said. 

In reference to a BJP slogan 'Har Har Modi' used during the Lok Sabha polls, he said, "Now people are saying 'Arhar Modi'." Taking a jibe at NDA's second birthday celebrations, the Congress vice president said the Prime Minister did not even utter a single word about rising prices during this event, and sought to know why.

Accusing the government of waiving off Rs 52,000 crore of the corporates, Gandhi asked what benefit the government has given to the farmers and housewives of the savings amounting to Rs 2 lakh crore it has made from the slump in the crude prices. He also questioned NDA's flagship programmes like Make in India, Stand Up India and said, "The 'Make in India' programme has not got given a single job to the youth".