Conceding that inflation was "one of the reasons" for Congress' debacle in the Lok Sabha polls, senior party leader P. Chidambaram today said that the new dispensation will also soon learn that not all factors are under control of any government.
"I am not competent to comment on why Congress lost the elections. I assume that inflation was one of the reasons. That is a very logical conclusion...inflation certainly must have been one of reasons, why people voted against us", Chidambaram said.
The former finance minister, however wished that the new government is able to check inflation but felt it was a difficult task.
Amid concerns that growing incidences of violence in Iraq could escalate fuel prices thereby leading to hike in prices of other commodities, Chidmabaram said, "If fuel prices remain high, they will pose a problem to the new government."
Oil and gas stocks had fallen by as much as 6.2 per cent yesterday on continued upmove in crude prices due to unrest in Iraq and amid reports that higher gas pricing may be allowed only for incremental output.
Chidambaram said that there are many "headwinds" that a government has to come across and the situation in Iraq is only one of them.
"If fuel prices rise, the government will face difficulty ...it will then pose problems to the next government....Any new government will soon learn that not all factors are under control of any government," he said at the AICC briefing.
When asked how does he rated Jaitley as a Finance Minister, Chidambaram said with a smile "I am not a rating agency". "I do not give unsolicited advice," he said.
"Every government has faced inflation. Not every factor is under the control of the government. If fuel prices go up, inflation will happen. What the government will be able to do. ...Government has announced some set of measures. We had also announced similar set of measures.
"...Let me caution not all factors are within the control of the government, yet government should take all measures to bring down inflation," Chidambaram said.
Citing figures, Chidambaram claimed that the UPA was able to moderate inflation at the retail level from 13.6 per cent to 7.5 per cent.
Asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent pitch for tough decisions on economic front, Chidambaram said that he is welcome to do that as "hard decisions are required" but added that