UPA allies didn`t side with government on price rise

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NEW DELHI, Dec 8 (agencies): Guess who didn`t side with the government when the Lok Sabha discussed rising prices Thursday? The Trinamool Congress, the DMK and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) – partners in the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

Kalyan Banerjee of the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress rather boasted of the measures taken by the West Bengal government led by his party to curb inflation.

He said the state government under Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had taken `drastic steps` and raided hideouts to identify and arrest some 300 black marketeers. Crackdown on hoarding and black marketing, he said, has led to fall in the rates of food items in the state.

Though he did not defend the central government, he attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying the inflation had increased during its rule.

DMK member T.K.S. Elangovan also did not defend the central government but asked it to strengthen the supply chain and the cooperative societies to beat the rising prices of essential commodities.

Much to the surprise of the ruling benches, the NCP`s Supriya Sule said price rise was affecting everyone, especially the home-makers in India.

She appreciated the effective system of public distribution followed in the BJP-ruled states, including Chhattisgarh.

The price rise was a common problem and thus ought to be looked into in a `holistic and pragmatic manner`, Sule said, as her father Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar listened with rapt attention.

The agriculture minister has come under sharp criticism from the opposition for rising food inflation.

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