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It’s Pawar responsibility to control prices, hints Cong
Published on 28 Nov. 2009 11:20 PM IST
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Taking a swipe at agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, Congress on Friday said that it had to remind the government about taking both long and short-term measures to bring food prices under control as it was a coalition in power at the Centre. According to Economic Times, AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi, who was speaking to the media about the measures to be adopted by the government to check the high price of food items, sought to pass the blame for the situation on all parties in UPA, especially NCP which holds charge of the food and agriculture ministries. “We are a major party in it (the Union government), but we are only first among equals. It is not a Congress government,” Mr Dwivedi said. Talking of the measures to be taken by the government he said: “There should be two types of policies -- steps which are required to immediately check prices and steps to be taken to ensure that production of pulses and sugar increases.” His comments come a day after food inflation crossed 15% and of Mr Pawar putting the onus on state governments to bring down prices by cracking-down on black marketers and hoarders. Asked why Congress needed to remind the government about it despite holding a working committee meeting in August on the issue, Mr Dwivedi shot back: “It is not a problem which could be solved in two days. The party has to remind the government, particularly when it is a coalition government.” The leader noted that as long as production of pulses was not taken up on mission-mode, prices could not be controlled permanently. He added that farmers needed to be motivated to achieve higher production of pulses as it formed part of India’s staple diet. He said Congress was concerned over price rise and recalled the August CWC resolution asking government to “keep strictest vigil on the prices of essential commodities”. The government came under a sharp attack from Opposition parties on price rise in Lok Sabha on Thursday.

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