India, UK, Piyush Goyal
Union Minister Piyush Goyal: The opposition alliance has started disintegrating | File photo

Piyush Goyal takes a dig at INDIA alliance, says it’s now 'indie zero'

The Union minister’s comments came amid fighting between various constituents of the opposition bloc, particularly the Samajwadi Party and the Congress

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Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday (November 5) said the opposition bloc Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) had begun disintegrating and had now turned into “indie zero”.

Goyal referred to the spat between Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath over seat sharing for the assembly polls in Indore, as well as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's statement that the Congress was more interested in polls than setting the course for the INDIA bloc.

“The opposition alliance has started disintegrating even before it is formed. The parties in it are pitted against each other in the assembly polls in various states. It has now turned into an ‘indie zero’ alliance,” Goyal said at a press conference during a tour of poll-bound Madhya Pradesh. “Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is sad about the state of the alliance. The Aam Aadmi Party abuses the Congress. In West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the constituents of the alliance are fighting,” he claimed.

The INDIA alliance comprises more than 25 parties, including the Congress and Kumar's Janata Dal (United), opposed to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Dubbing MP Congress chief Kamal Nath and the party’s senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh as a “mismatched pair”, Goyal claimed the two were at loggerheads and busy in establishing their sons in politics. “Kamal Nath has already lost his credibility among the masses and is now left alone in Congress politics,” Goyal claimed.

On the BJP not naming chief ministerial candidates for the five states where assembly polls are being held, Goyal said, “We have the blessings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We are all generals under him. It is the failure of the Congress that it does not have any popular leader who can go to the masses.” On rising onion prices, Goyal said the Centre has increased the buffer stock of the kitchen staple from two lakh tonnes to five lakh tonnes in view of irregular rains in different parts of the country and later added a consignment of two lakh tonnes while making additional purchases.

“This is the first time since Independence that the Central government is providing onions at Rs 25 per kg to retail consumers from its buffer stock. Due to this, onion prices have stabilized in many places,” he said.

The Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said prices will come down when onions sown late in the Kharif season make their way to the markets in the next one to two weeks.

(With agency inputs)

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