Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Tuesday blamed the nationwide rise in the price of essential commodities on state governments.
"There is no mechanism with the central government to curb the rising price of vegetables including onions. That can be done by the state governments," he told media persons.
As for the petrol price hike, Digvijay said that ever since the government decided to decontrol the price of petrol, it (the price) is dependent on the international crude oil price but he noted that the UPA government has made it a point not to implement the decontrol policy in case of diesel, kerosene or cooking gas.
Wondering why the Uttar Pradesh government had not initiated steps to bring down the rising prices of vegetables, Singh said the Delhi government had already opened special retail outlets where onions and other vegetables were being sold at regulated prices.
Criticising the state government for not taking initiating enough measures to control prices, he said that it was high time the state governments undertook stringent steps against hoarders and black-marketeers.
Expressing deep concern over the "deteriorating law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh", the Congress leader condemned the Mayawati administration for its "patronage to anti-social elements and outlaws".
Citing the recent incidents of rape in Banda and Kanpur, Singh noted while it was a ruling Bahujan Samaj Party legislator directly involved in the gang-rape of a minor girl in Banda, "the state machinery went out of its way to shield the tormenters of an 11-year old girl who died following rape and sodomy".
"What is most shocking that a powerful minister from Banda moved heaven and earth to protect the rapist MLA (legislator) and the local superintendent of police pressurised the helpless girl to withdraw the complaint of rape against the MLA," he said.
Expressing gratitude to the Allahabad High Court for taking suo moto cognisance of the false case of theft against the girl, he said: "Had it not been for the court, the girl would have continued to languish in jail where she remained for as many as 33 days simply because her tormenters had accused her of stealing Rs.5,000 from the MLA's home, where she was held captive."