On a day when the RBI cut its GDP forecast to a further low, a senior BJP MP in Lok Sabha on Thursday claimed that the talk of gloom in the automobile sector is an attempt to “malign” the nation, adding that if there was a low demand for vehicles, there would be no traffic jams in the country.
Ballia MP Virendra Singh ‘Mast’, who is also the head of BJP’s Kisan Morcha, made his statement while participating in a debate on crop loss and its impact on farmers.
He said, “In order to defame the country and malign this government, they say there is a fall in the purchase of automobiles. If there is a fall, why would there be traffic jams on the road… You cannot decide what should be the link between production and consumption.”
He also rejected the opposition’s charges that the price of onions has shot up, claiming he could produce a truck-full of the vegetable for Rs 25 per kg from his constituency.
Responding to remarks by Shiv Sena’s Vinayak Raut on the high price of onions, Singh said: “How long will you do politics on onion prices? Onion is available in my area at Rs 25 (per kg). You come there, I will get you a truck full of onions at Rs 25 per kg.”
Congress’s Kodikkunil Suresh, who initiated the debate, alleged that the notice given by him wanted to discuss ‘Agrarian crisis and farmers’ distress’, but the government chose to change the topic. “The other topic would have exposed the failure of the BJP government to the public…,” he said.
TMC’s Kalyan Banerjee said that there was “a misdirection of government subsidies and funds”. He said, “As per reports by the Central government and NCRB, the government farming subsidies from 1993 to 2018 went to the dealers to produce seeds and fertilisers, not to the farmers.”
MPs from all parties participated in the debate. Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar is expected to reply to the debate Friday.
During Zero Hour, TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay said the price of onions had reached an extreme height and claimed that hoarding was the cause, saying the Enforcement Directorate should check on hoarding of onions.