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class

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There is chaos amongst the people of the country. The prices of vegetables particularly the onions and tamatoes have gone up tremendously having crossed the Rs 60 per kilo mark in the Mandies giving enough freedom to vegetable venders selling them at Rs 80 and even more thus putting extra burden to the pockets of consumers.

Since the BJP led NDA government assumed power at the centre despite having made tall claims of bringing the inflation under control the prices of petrol, vegetables and other essental commodities including pulses have been skyrocketting compounded with multiple rise in the metro fares of the capital beyond the reach of lower middle class and those living at the lowest ebb of the society.

You go in the market to purchase anything, any commodity you’ll find everthing with a high price tag. The agencies dealing with price assesment play with the sentiments of the people by always supplying wrong figures in order to befool them as 90% of the citizens really don’t understand the manipulations of such price index parametres.

While on the one hand there have been tall claims of the economy having been tremendously strengthened but had it been able to result in downfall of the prices of essential commodities compounded with employment generation on the ground is a moot question being asked by everyone, everywhere. They are primarily the 70% of the rural people, those hailing from JJ clusters, employees of the private sector and people living at the grass roots who suffer while the rich, affluent, those above middle class hardly suffer as their purchasing power is hardly affected.

Even the government servants of the country have now to an extent joined the elite class club of the country as their salary structure has also gone up considerably and after every point rise in the inflation or price index their salary structure also gets enhanced with enhanced dearness allowance from retrospective affect.

Today majority of the newspapers of the country are carrying the front page news highlighting this heavy price hike of onions and tomatoes making the life of the people literally hell. As per the reports the retail price of onions, one of the main items’ of the household women and her kitchen has touched Rs. 63 for every kilogram in Delhi till Tuesday due to tight supplies and lower arrivals in the wholesale market.

Sounds shocking as the prices of onion in the month of August, September were as low as Rs 26/27 per kg in the retail market and Azadpur Sabzi Mandi. Not only in Delhi but in other parts of the country as well the retail prices of onion have crossed Rs 56 per Kilogram thus amounting to the three folds’ rise.

If such is the critical situation in the domestic market what’s the point of exporting onions to outside countries. While there is already a shortage of onions in the Indian markets leading to the increasing price rise, the government had exported 80,00,000 tons of onion to countries abroad in the month of August September.

Those at the helm of affairs in the government should instead of making false claims of decreasing prices rise and befooling the people with rhetorics on various fronts to extract political capital in elections, should rather concentrate on this front to bring skyrocketting price rise under control by concentrating their efforts on controlling the black marketeers on wide scale compounded with improvising the production of vegetables and other crops on massive scale.

The food and vegetable sector of the country is in doldrums with people leaving farming on mass scale. The government should also make cold storage facilities available in myriad quantity so that the onions, tomatoes etc can be stored in sufficient quantity on wider scale particularly when they are produced in massive quantity due to good weather and monsoon situations.

If cold storage facility in abundance is made available, a large quantity of vegetable and other produce like food grain usually going waste when grown in excess can be stored and sold at cheaper prices at the time of shortages to avoid inflationary pressure on the common men. Onion is considered to be a very significant ingredient of the kitchen and onion price rise had also lead to Congress losing power to BJP being the main election issue in the national election earlier. Similarly if the inflated prices of onions and tomates are not controlled forthwith would definitely put an adverse impact on the chances of BJP in Gujarat elections.

SUNIL NEGI

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SUNIL NEGI

The middle class people of the country are actually the opinon makers and their influence of support to any political party or political conglomeration play a vital role to influence the majority of electorates all over the country, especially in the urban and suburban classes of the society. Whether it was the victory of the Congress or Congress led UPA that ruled India for six decades or so or the BJP or BJP led NDA which is currently on the political saddle at the centre and several states of the country, the role and support of the middle class was always significant.

Whether they are the government servants, those working corporates, media, advocates, traders and in various other sectors hail from this class and play a vital role in shaping the destiny of the country as well as the political parties as they are the ones’ who are very much the part and parcel rather the backbone of the government and the system that actually delivers. If they are happy and pleased they work as a catalytic agent for a party in power and if they become annoyed they take no time to dethrone those whom they have helped climb the saddle of political and administrative power.

When prime minister Narendra Modi reached the top echelons of power it was the same middle class which dethroned the scam ridden Congress that was in power at the centre for ten long years. Not only did they made widespread favourable opinion and political climate for BJP and Modi, nationally, while being functional in various wings of the government and private sector but also ensured that the previous Congress led UPA is wiped out of power from the roots. And BJP led NDA under Narendra Modi’s charismatic leadership acknowledged more than absolute majority for five years.

The middle class is a class that believes in comforts, promotions, remunerations, monetory benefits n a hassle free standarised life with limited and fixed income. If its budget is disturbed or the growth rate comes down affecting their comfortable life style it gets imbalanced and annoyed. This class is hardly concerned or bothered about the political developments of the country may it be the issue of cow vigilantism, farmers suicides, child or women trafficking or political upheavals for power. It’s merely concerned that their lifestyle and level of sustenance is not disturbed.

But today this opinion maker class is badly disturbed as during the last three years not only has their standard of living come down due to inflationary pressures and hike in petroleum products but the foreign investment and private sector investments have also not shown the desired results. After demonetisation this class seems to have been worstly affected as medium and small business has witnessed the lowest ebb due to money crunch and low level employees heading for their respective hometowns.

The demand and purchasing power has badly come down. The crude oil despite being cheap in international market has no impact on petro pruducts with prices of petrol and diesal still going high. The government is busy levying the central excise and state taxes on petroleum products to cover its losses and keep the economy buoyant thus burdening the already burdened middle and lower middle class(es). It is believed that the government levies the excise and state taxes of more than a lakh crores on petro products.

It is obvious that this increase will further inflate the fares of transportation which will adversely impact the prices of vegetables, food stuffs and essential commodities. The introduction of complicated GST have further brought small and medium business to standstill at least for another few months till the situation improves or stabilizes. The energy and the speed with which the traditional middle class voters were given assurances of ACHE DIN are literally fading out with Indian GDP growth also at its lowest of 5.7% since the last six quarters.

While unmindful of his traditional vote bank Modiji is largely concentrating on the poor sections which is indeed a good sign of his well planned strategy but by leaving the middle class in the lurch he is undoubtedly taking a huge risk as 2019 is not far. And the middle class though less in number is effective enough to widely transfer and spread, rather trickle their anger and annoyance among the common masses, expeditiously. What do you say friends?