Congress President Sonia Gandhi has called a meeting of the party's 14 chief ministers on Wednesday to take stock of the steps they have taken to check price rise and direct them to take strict action against hoarders and blackmarketeers.
In doing this, the AICC also intends to put pressure on other non-Congress ruled states to follow suit while trying to dilute the BJP, Left and SP campaigns on the rise in prices of petrol, diesel and other essential commodities.
The AICC adopted a similar tactic earlier, when it asked Congress-ruled states to prune sales tax on petrol and diesel and offer some relief to the aam aadmi–the centerpiece of the UPA's CMP. It then hit out at other state governments for failing to do their bit for the poor.
The Congress CMs' meet comes in the backdrop of the June 29 Congress Working Committee where members had urged the Centre to do more than it has done so far to check prices. Certain ministries, like Sharad Pawar's Agriculture Ministry, were criticised for delayed action.
It remains to be seen whether the CMs would also find fault with Pawar's Ministry at Wednesday's meeting in which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram are also likely to be present.
However, one of the key points of the discussion is likely to be the strict imposition of ESMA so that the signal goes out to the people of a tough action against hoarders and blackmarketeers.