Beating inflation our top priority: Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Dec 21: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Saturday said “beating inflation” was the government’s top priority after price rice was seen as a reason behind the Congress debacle in assembly polls in four states.

“High inflation on the back of high food prices is an immediate concern,” Gandhi said at the 86th annual general meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here.

He said inflation has stretched household budgets and constrained industrial growth.

“It hurts our people every day. Beating inflation is our top priority. We must crack down on hoarding and profiteering,” Gandhi said.

The Congress leader said there was a need to modernise the supply chain.

“We must ease infrastructure bottlenecks and rapidly modernise the supply chain from field to plate,” Gandhi said.

Congress leaders in their feedback to party chief Sonia Gandhi had listed price rise as one of the main reasons behind the party losing the polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Chhattisgarh.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also flagged inflation as a concern in his interaction with party lawmakers.

Rahul Gandhi said in his speech that the recent elections “have made their point”.

“We need to have the foresight and humility to accept the messages being expressed to us without resorting to the usual props of statistical data and excuse making,” he said.

Gandhi also said a political party’s strength lies in the voice of those it represents.

“We will listen to the voices we represent. The Congress party has long prided itself in this very ability and used it to rise from adversity time and again. We will renew ourselves. And will fight strong and confident in order to protect the values of tolerance and compassion that are the essence of India,” he said.

IANS