Bush-fire in Delhi
New Delhi, May 3
Most parties instead blamed the USA for the ongoing global food crisis, which, they said, was triggered by the diversion of food crops for production of bio-fuels. While minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh maintained Bush was completely wrong in his assessment, the Congress came down heavily on the the US President, saying his analysis was ‘completely erroneous’ as India was not a food importer but a food exporter.
“George Bush has never been known for his knowledge of economics. And he has just proved once again how comprehensively wrong he is. To say that the demand for food in India is causing increase in global good prices is completely wrong,” he said.
The BJP used this opportunity to pin down the UPA government for its failure to combat inflation while the Left parties took an ideological position, saying, the ‘neo-liberal economic policies imposed on India by the Bush administration’ were to blame for the current crisis.
“The statement by George Bush fixes into the frame of irrelevancy of the statements of the UPA ministers,” BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said, adding that there was bound to greater demand for essential commodities as the economy grows.
“At a time when millions of people in India are unable to get enough food to eat and suffer from malnutrition, Bush’s insensible remarks about India’s prosperity affecting global food prices are adding insult to injury,” CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said.
The USA policy of subsidising and promoting bio-fuel out of crops was the major reason for the shortages and spurt in food prices, he added.
CPI national secretary D. Raja blamed the US policies for all major crises facing the world, stating that the Bush Administration is trying to cover up its own fault by shifting the blame to developing countries, as it is the US which has shifted agricultural production from food grains to bio-fuels.
CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said the US policy of subsidising and promoting bio-fuel out of crops was the major reason for the shortage and spurt in food prices. “This is what President Bush has sought to cover up.” CPI National Secretary D. Raja blamed US policies for all major crises facing the world, particularly in energy and food sectors.
“The Bush Administration is trying to cover up its own fault by shifting the blame to developing countries. It is the USA which has shifted agricultural production from foodgrains to bio-fuel, thereby creating food crisis and pushing up the prices,” he said.
Raja described Bush’s comment as “a kind of racial statement” which blames India and China for heightened demand.
The CPI leader said India grew its own food and did not “exploit other nations like US imperialism.” Bush joined US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in blaming the rising prosperity of India’s huge middle class for the spiralling global food prices.
Prosperity in countries like India is “good” but it triggers increased demand for “better nutrition” which in turn leads to higher food prices, Bush said.