With assembly elections in five states fast approaching, price rise and inflation continues to worry the Congress. Party leaders privately admit that rise in prices of essential commodities will hurt the party in the assembly elections, billed as the semi-final before the 2014 polls. The BJP has already indicated that it would make runaway inflation, apart from corruption, the main talking point of its campaign in the poll-bound states of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram and in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls as well.
Congress leaders are also worried that price rise could overshadow recent pro-poor initiatives launched by UPA such as the food security scheme and the new land acquisition law.
Apart from how to contain BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, these issues dominated the just-concluded five-day workshop for prospective Congress spokespersons.
Many of them were of the opinion that even if the party tried to explain price rise to the people, it would prove counter-productive as an election strategy.
On their part, senior leaders assured them that the UPA government was doing all it could to keep the prices of essential items down. They were also told to compare the earning power of the people during the NDA regime and the UPA government.