Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Govt didn't control price rise: Sonia
Pallavi Ghosh
VOTE CALL: Sonia knows that positive growth rate numbers of the economy will not buy her votes.

New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi finally confessed on Tuesday the electoral defeat of her party, saying the Congress paid a heavy electoral price for rising prices.

At a stock-taking meeting in Parliament, Sonia indicated that the blame lay with the Government.

The idea was to ensure well in advance that spiralling prices did not have a negative impact on the party's fortunes in Uttar Pradesh.

At the meeting, Sonia said the party’s performance in Punjab and Uttarakhand left much to be desired. In spite of sound all-round development, the party was unable to retain power, which, she said, indicated that while objective factors such as the price rise may have had an impact, there were other reasons as well.

“We are concerned and are doing something about it,” said Congress MP Naveen Jindal.

So while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram speak of a booming economy, Sonia knows that positive growth rate numbers will not buy her votes.

Meanwhile, unhappy with the UPA's economic policies, the Left feels that Sonia's concern is driven by electoral defeat.

“We had suggested two things, if they had done that they wouldn't have had to face electoral defeat,” said CPI(M) leader, Sitaram Yechury.

And while the party is planning to use its trump card in UP there is no guarantee that other mundane issues would not affect the party's chances.

For the Congress, it’s easier to be a party rather than a party in power.

As it prepares for elections in UP next month and Gujarat later this year, Sonia's pressure on the Government to control prices is understandable. After all, both the party and the Government have to fight elections.

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