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from BUSINESS LINE, February 09, 2010 Though the Conference of Chief Ministers on soaring food prices convened by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, at New Delhi on February 6, at times predictably degenerated into a hunt for scapegoats, with everyone pointing fingers at everyone else, it also provided an opportunity for heart-searching and fresh thinking. In that sense, it certainly was a worthwhile effort to arrive at a consensus for concerted action to meet a serious challenge confronting the nation.
One thing, however, must be made clear right at the outset. It simply will not do for the Centre to wash its hands off its responsibility touting the argument that agriculture is a State subject.
It is well-known to students of Constitutional history that even in the case of democracies with written Constitutions, laying down in specific terms, the distribution of powers between the federal and State governments, the federal governments, thanks to their access to, and control over, vast natural and financial resources and the advances in communications, have come to assume an overarching as well as an overbearing …