BJP launches agitation against inflation, flays govt

New Delhi: BJP today accused the Government of adopting "several tricks" including "misuse" of CBI to maintain majority and secure the support of political parties in Parliament and during elections.

Launching the party`s `Jail Bharo` agitation against inflation and recent hike in petroleum products here, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley claimed the Government has lost the confidence of the common man and that it has "failed" on all fronts.

"Public is not with the government. They cannot run the government. They are not able to manage things and governance is zero under UPA. Only thing the government is doing is to adopt several tricks to mislead other political parties to get their work done in Parliament and other elections," he told a protest rally here attended by former party President Rajnath Singh and Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta.

After the rally, Singh, Gupta, senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and hundreds of BJP cadres courted arrest. "When Left parties withdrew support to the UPA on the Nuclear Deal (in 2008), Samajwadi Party came to its rescue. All of us saw how the Samajwadi Party made a U-turn within 24 hours on the Presidential elections. Even the BSP made a U-turn on the issue," Jaitley said.

He alleged the Government was using Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as a "tool to maintain majority." Jaitely also said the political situation in the country is such that "one gets an impression after reading the report by interlocutors on Kashmir that the government wants to divide the country." However, he did not elaborate.

On the recent hike in petroleum products, the BJP leader alleged the Centre was not reducing the price of petrol despite the prices of crude oil coming down in the global market. "The Government maintains that it had to hike prices of petrol due to increase in crude oil. The rate of crude oil which was USD 127 has come down to USD 90 yesterday. Even now the government is not reducing the price," he said.

Jaitley also claimed that the price of petrol will come down to Rs 50 a litre if the tax levied by the government is reduced or removed. "The government imposes a lot of tax on petrol and other products. Almost half of the price is collected as tax by the government. The money which goes into the government coffers come from the pockets of common man," he said. Jaitley also alleged that the UPA Government was the "most corrupt government" in the history of India and noted that Rajiv Gandhi lost power after the Bofors scam broke out.

"The Bofors scam was worth Rs 64 crore which now looks like a small scale industry. Now the country talks about scams of Rs 1.76 lakh crore and Rs 2 lakh crore," he said. He also said the Indian economy was going down the drain and noted the downgrading of status by noted agencies. In his address, Rajnath Singh said never inflation has reached such a level in the country as it is now since Independence.

"Peope call Manmohan Singh a distinguished economist. But he is not able to manage the economy. Most international agencies have downgraded Indian economy. The UPA Government is not bothered about the common man," he charged. Former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee was no economist, but he managed the economy well during his tenure as he knew the difficulties of the common man, Singh said.

Naqvi alleged that the UPA government was encouraging corruption under the garb of honesty and said despite record production of crops in the last eight years, prices of essential commodities have been constantly on the rise. "The import of crude oil is about 85 per cent of the present (consumption). However, during the NDA regime, it was 65 to 70 per cent because we focused on alternate sources like piped gas, bio-diesel and ethanol," Naqvi added.

In Jammu, nearly 400 BJP activists led by BJP Mahila Morcha President and MP Smriti Irani today courted arrested in connection with the country-wide `Jail Bharo` against the UPA government. Displaying anti-government banners and sloganeering, they led to demonstrations in Dogra Chowk area of Jammu city amid tight security arrangements this afternoon.

After the demonstrations, Irani along with MP R P Singh, BJP State President Shamshir Singh Manhas, MLAs Ashok Khajuria, Sham Choudhary and Choudhar Sukhnandan and BJP activists and party office bearers of BJP Mahila Morcha and Yuva Morcha courted arrest. BJP workers courted arrest in parts of Rajasthan under its nationwide call to protest against the policies of the UPA government.

Around 2,000 workers gathered at the BJP state headquarters and marched towards civil lines railway crossing and courted arrest. Police sources said that 410 out of the total workers courted arrest. "Elaborate security arrangements were in place. The protest was peaceful and no untoward incident occurred," DCP (South) Jaipur, Don K Jose, said.

Those who courted arrest in Jaipur were the party`s state head Arun Chaturvedi, Deputy Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan Assembly Ghanshyam Tiwari, MLA Kali Charan Saraf and others. Workers in other districts also courted arrest. Thousands of BJP workers courted arrest against the price rise in Shimla. Prominent BJP leaders, MPs, MLAs and party office bearers led the protests at state, district headquarters but ministers did not take part in demonstrations.

Hundreds of BJP workers led by party Vice president Kal Raj Mishra and BJYM president Anurag Thakur assembled near Central Telegraph Officer (CTO) at Shimla and Courted arrest near Town hall by defying the prohibitory orders. The Workers marched towards Town Hall from CTO and raised slogans and held a rally in front of Town Hall.

The police had made adequate arrangements and the protesters were rounded up by the police and whisked away in police buses and vans. Addressing the protesters Kalraj Mishra alleged that ever since the UPA has come to power for the second time, the prices were touching the sky.