Worried about continuing price rise, the Congress downplayed alliance partner and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar’s remarks that policy decisions, including price policy, are a matter collective responsibility of the Cabinet.
Pawar’s comments were seen as an attempt to spread out the blame.
The Congress, however, claimed that the minister was not blaming anyone.
“He (Pawar) was simply stating the Constitutional position. Checking price rise is the collective responsibility of the central government, different ministries and the state governments. The Congress also wants that collectively, the Government of India and state governments work to bring prices under control,” spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said.
According to his colleague Manish Tewari: “So far as the Congress is concerned, the union agriculture ministry needs to work proactively with the state governments to see that the prices settle down.”
But he added there was a division of the government in various departments that look at the specific subjects.
Ahmed said acting against hoarders and black marketers was the responsibility of states. He also sought to cap the controversy over the inclusion of Pakistani former air force chief in an advertisement brought out by Krishna Tirath’s Ministry of Women and Child Development saying that an inquiry had been ordered.
He said, “The PMO has issued a regret note (on the issue)… Only after the inquiry it will be known who was responsible for it… You will come to know of the findings.”