Congress core group meets over fuel price hike

September 11th, 2012 - 10:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) A day after Congress chief Sonia Gandhi returned from abroad following a medical check up, the party’s core group met here Tuesday to discuss the current political situation including the coal block allocations’ fallout and the government proposal to hike fuel prices, party sources said.

Besides Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel are members of the core group.

The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, which was to take up the petroleum ministry’s proposal to hike the prices of diesel, cooking gas and kerosene, postponed its meeting in the wake of opposition from some of the United Progressive Alliance allies.

Earlier in the day, Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy said an increase in diesel, cooking gas and kerosene prices was “unavoidable” to reduce under-recoveries of oil marketing companies. The finance ministry also favours the view.

Congress sources said the leadership will discuss the issue with the allies.

The core group also discussed ways to counter the BJP’s propaganda against the UPA government alleging corruption in allocation of coal blocks.

Already, ministers and senior party functionaries are touring all over the country to put forth the government’s view in the matter.

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