The BJP on Monday claimed that the Bharat Bandh, called by a united Opposition over rising fuel prices and weakening of the rupee, was a failure.
Defending the government, the ruling party claimed that the rise in fuel prices was momentary and was caused by global factors.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad hit out at Opposition parties, alleging that they resorted to violence because of lack of support from masses.
Prasad said the hike in oil prices was caused by limited supply. “We are standing with the people in their concern, but this is a problem for which the solution is not in our hands,” he said.
The minister said the Modi government has worked a lot to bring down inflation and has been successful in doing so.
Prasad slammed the Congress for the death of a girl in Bihar while she was being rushed to a hospital but the ambulance got stuck in heavy traffic due to the bandh.
The Union Minister asked if Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will take responsibility for the death.
“Who is responsible for the violence and death, that is the question to Congress party. I ask Rahul Gandhi…will you will take responsibility for the death of the girl because that happened when an ambulance could not take her to the hospital because your people stopped it,” Prasad said.
The minister claimed that the public is facing some problems, but they were not supporting the bandh and hence the Congress and other opposition parties were creating an atmosphere of fear out of frustration.
“We are standing with the public… We will certainly find some solution for the problem,” Prasad said.
Prasad said that rise in fuel prices was not under the control of the government and it was because oil producing countries have restricted their production.
“Scaring the public through violence is the biggest failure of Rahul Gandhi, Congress party and the Opposition parties,” Prasad said.
Asked if the government can cut down on excise duty to bring down the prices, Prasad said it was done last year.
He said states can also cut down taxes levied by them, but added that it should be left to their wisdom as they also spend money on welfare schemes.
On former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remark on fuel prices, Prasad offered Singh to engage in a meaningful debate in Parliament on economic issues.