Union minister Beni Prasad Verma was today at the centre of a controversy with remarks that he was "happy" over rising prices of food items as it will benefit farmers, evoking a sharp attack from BJP and other parties.
"Dal, atta, rice and vegetables have become expensive. The more the prices, the better it is for farmers. I am happy with this inflation," the Union Steel Minister told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
He said the media was making a hue and cry of increasing prices. "Media kehti hai ki khane ki thali mehngi ho gayi hai...Isse fayada kisano ka hai, aur sarkar kisano ke fayda ki pachdhar hai" (Media says that cost of food plate has increased but it is benefiting farmers...and the government is in favour of farmers profit)," he said.
Lashing out at his rationale, BJP accused the Congress of turning a blind eye to the common man being hit by inflation.
"The Congress leaders are not affected by inflation at all. They are not seeing the plight of the people as a result of rising prices. It clearly shows their mentality," BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said in Delhi.
Today, the farmers are hit by high cost of fertilisers and power. "Then how are they going to benefit by rising prices," he said.
"The Congress talks about aam aadmi but it has drifted a long way away from them," he said.
Attacking Verma, SP leader Mohan Singh said the minister is not fit to continue in the Government, which has got the full support of the Samajwadi Party.
"His remarks on price rise are highly irresponsible. It clearly shows that he is not in touch with ground realities. The farmers are not getting remunerative prices, be it for
vegetables or other products," Singh said.
Shivanand Tiwari of JD(U) said instead of finding ways to effectively tackle inflation, corruption, poverty and unemployment, the senior minister was justifying rising prices.
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