Sonia concerned over price rise; hits out at Left Front

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Behrampur/Malda, Apr 28 (UNI) Congress president Sonia Gandhi today expressed concern at the skyrocketing prices of essentials, but averred that the state governments also could not wash their hands off.

Addressing a public meeting at Malda, Ms Gandhi said, ''Though the rising price of essentials is really a matter of concern, but the State Governments also cannot shrug off their responsibility.'' ''The prices of rice and wheat have shot up at the international market, but we have been able to contain the prices of cooking gas and kerosene oil, '' she stated.

The Centre was sincere enough to implement the ''Bharat Nirman Yojana'' and ''100 Days Employment Scheme'', she added.

Ms Gandhi lambasted the CPI(M)-led Left Front government for the ''deplorable'' law and order situation in West Bengal and called upon the partymen to hammer out all differences and cooperate with Pradesh Congress Committee chief Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi.

Addressing another rally at Behrampore in Murshidabad district, she sympathised with the ''suffering'' masses at Nandigram and alleged that the people in the state had complained of torture and atrocity.

Clarifying that there was no room for any political violence in a vibrant democracy, Ms Gandhi reiterated that the Congress-led UPA government would not sacrifice its ideologies and policies at any cost even as the Left had extended support to the government.

She asserted that the Left support was solicited only to keep the communal forces at bay, and said, '' The Congress has every right to fight injustice wherever it is meted out. '' Meanwhile, Ms Gandhi urged the party leaders to reach out to the people, particularly in rural areas, to spread awareness about development programmes, undertaken by the UPA government at the Centre.

She had also asked the leaders to create awareness of the role played by the party in formulating the waiving of farmers' loan worth Rs 60,000 crore.

UNI XC SJC SP GC1848

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