Calling the hike in prices of petroleum products a "momentary difficulty" due to the international crisis, the BJP on Monday slammed the Congress and other opposition parties for the incidents of violence during the Bharat Bandh.The Bharatiya Janata Party also claimed that the shutdown was "unsuccessful" because people understood the reasons why petrol and diesel prices were going up."Why are the people of India indifferent to Bharat Bandh? They understand the rise in fuel prices, though temporary, is because of factors beyond the control of the Indian government and ordinary indian. This is a problem whose solution is not in our hands," Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.He said that in spite of some "momentary difficulty", the people don't support the Bandh."This is unnerving the Congress and other opposition parties. That is why they are resorting to violence," he said."Bharat Bandh has been unsuccessful. We condemn the violence being used to instil fear among citizens across the country."Prasad said petrol and diesel prices are high due to the crisis in the international market and the NDA government has been working very hard to resolve people's problems."The petroleum need of the global world today is under severe restrictions because of non-availability and limited supply. We are not trying to justify the price hike. The NDA government has been trying its best to contain inflation. It has succeeded on numerous fronts," he said, adding that inflation was 10.4 per cent between 2009-14 of UPA rule and is now 4.7 per cent.
The BJP leader threw a challenge to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to debate on his charges against the government on economic situation of the country."You are a renowned economist while I am a small worker of the BJP. I am ready to debate with him in Parliament on these issues," he said.Manmohan Singh, earlier, hit out at the Modi government for the crises-like all-round situation in the country due to rising fuel prices and farm distress.Referring to the alleged death of a girl in Bihar's Jehanabad district during the Bandh, Prasad questioned Congress President Rahul Gandhi for the violence that has taken place in various parts of the country due to the Bharat Bandh called by the Congress and several other parties."Everyone has a right to protest, but what is happening today? Petrol pumps and buses are being set ablaze, putting lives to risk. A child died after an ambulance was stuck in the protests in Jehanabad. Who is responsible?" he said."It is the essence of democracy that hospitals, ambulances, and medicine shops are allowed to function without any hindrance. But, with the death of a 2-year-old in Bihar today, an environment of fear is being created. People are suffering and facing hardships. In a democracy, people have the right to protest, but without indulging in violence," he said.Addressing a protest rally in New Delhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his silence on rising fuel prices, the tumbling rupee and agrarian distress. He said a united opposition would drive out the BJP in the next general elections.