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War against price rise will remain the "overriding policy priority" of Congress, AICC said today amid a growing feeling in the rank and file that inflation hit the party in the recent Assembly elections where it suffered one of the worst defeats in the recent times.
"Congress believes that price rise especially of essential commodities is the biggest burden on the common man... The war against price rise will continue to remain the overriding policy priority of the Congress party," said a resolution at the AICC meet here.
The AICC resolution on price rise came a day after the Congress Working Committee meet, which saw party leaders "cornering" the government over its economic policies and targeting Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily in particular over rise in petroleum prices and cap on subsidised LPG cylinders.
Immediately after the results of Assembly elections in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgharh in which Congress suffered a humiliating defeat, party President Sonia Gandhi had on December 8, last year accepted price rise as one of the factors for the Congress drubbing.
In the resolution, the party said that while some of the price rise is due to high prices of commodities in the international markets and other external factors, Congress remains committed to doing everything in its command to fight price rise.
"It is with this intent that all Congress-ruled states have delisted fruits and vegetables from their respective Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMC) Acts so that the farmers have a choice where to sell their produce by eliminating the middleman and the consumers get the benefit of lower prices," it said.
The resolution said that all Congress-ruled states are also invoking the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to sternly deal with hoarding, black marketing and profiteering.
"Chronic offenders will also be detained under the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980," it said.
These measures were part of the five-point formula advocated by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi during a meeting of 11 Congress Chief Ministers out of the 12 party-ruled states to contain inflation.
The party resolution reaffirmed its commitment to high economic growth, which is essential to create jobs and increase incomes of the common man.
However, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had a word of caution as she said that while "growth is essential and must be sustained but rapid growth alone cannot address the problems arising out of continuing disparities".
"Tackling these is not