“Government Plan To Tackle Prices Is Just Hot Air” screamed the front page of Friday’s Mail Today, as India’s political media lined up to belittle what was billed as a list of anti-inflationary remedies but was robustly rejected as “already failed measures and oft-repeated homilies.”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meetings this week with senior cabinet ministers to tackle year-high food inflation dragged on long into the night, keeping editors on tenterhooks and assuring Congress of front page headlines.
This morning, those headlines would have made for painful reading. After rumours of export curbs and future markets tweaks, what emerged to be a paltry list of recommendations was seen by many as nothing but ineffective band-aids for a broken economy requiring surgery.
Barraged by charges of inaction over tackling corruption, Congress appears to be heading towards firefights on two fronts as India runs out of patience with the ruling party’s attempts to curb inflation.
From economic hero to inflation-battered zero, perhaps more than anyone else Prime Minister Manmohan Singh encapsulates the Congress party’s current woes.