Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was at the receiving end at the Congress Working Committee meeting on Friday with members making veiled attack on him over rising prices.
The meeting, presided over by party chief Sonia Gandhi with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in attendance, saw concerns expressed over price rise and demands made for taking stern measures to curb the trend.
In an apparent message to Pawar, members also suggested that the minister desist from attempts to create a fear psychosis against the backdrop of some of his remarks in this regard.
Sources said there was talk that the department of consumer affairs be taken away from Pawar but this was strongly denied by Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi.
As many as 18 members including Digvijay Singh, Mohsina Kidwai as also some party chief ministers gave suggestions to control price rise and senior leader Karan Singh even demanded a draconian law to check hoarding and black marketing, party sources said.
Sharing the concern of members, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said improvement was being made in tackling the price situation and things will get better soon. He said necessary steps have been taken in consultation with chief ministers and the results would be visible in the next few weeks.