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“Govt should have been better prepared to deal with onion price hike”

An overwhelming amount of data have pointed to the weakening economic situation. Prices of essential commodities, especially vegetables have gone up and fuel prices are likely to shoot up. 

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Tuesday Mudda

Panelists observe that the debate should move to economy now

An overwhelming amount of data have pointed to the weakening economic situation. Prices of essential commodities, especially vegetables have gone up and fuel prices are likely to shoot up. APN’s popular debate Mudda discussed the developmentsAnchorperson Parivesh Vatsayan posed the questions to panellists, including the BJP’s Aniruddh Singh, Congress’s Vinod Singh, economist Sharad Kohli, and noted scribe Chandrashekhar.

Kohli said: “There are no jobs, business is not doing well, it’s like rubbing salt on the wounds, netas are busty with CAA and NPR politics. What we are getting to see now is stagflation. Economic growth is badly affected. Dal and vegetable prices have gone up by 60 percent. Some of this could be a seasonal hike, but look at onion price rise. This happens every year. Why was the government not prepared to deal with this? Hoarder problem is also there. Both the farmer and the consumer are suffering. Business is suffering. RBI has to reduce the repo rate now. This is like facing the well on one side and the ditch on the other.”

Aniruddh Singh said: “The retail inflation is seasonal. Overall inflation is a global scenario. I would like to point out that start-ups are flourishing. Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, the onion producing states, should have done better in dealing with its price rise.”

Vinod Singh said: “BJP people only know how to slap their own backs, they do not have solutions for any problems.”

Chandrashekhar said: “The figures are there before all. Onion and potato prices are up. Dr Manmohan Singh was an economist but would take advice from an advisory council. This government has no such expert panel. The Council is a free-minded body of independent people, such a panel is needed. These people are taking advise from personal friends, it seems.”

Aniruddh Singh said: “All governments have councils. You can place an RTI for this.”

Kohli said: “I would like to add that an advisory council is there, but I don’t know how far its advice is taken. CAA has hijacked the debate. Opposition should focus on economic issues and not CAA etc. There should be constructive debate in the country now.”

Vinod Singh said: “I haven’t raised CAA issue on this forum. The common man is suffering. What is this government doing? Handed over the moolah to friends?”

Kohli said: “Pressure should be put on the government to deal with the rising prices.”

Aniruddh Singh said: “The Congress had various advisers, still unemployment was high. They are talking Pakistan language. They want inquiry in Pulwama attack. Congress leader Randeep Surjewala held a press conference to show the country in poor light?”

Chandrashekhar Singh said: “The government should show the way. The BJP representative is saying opposition should be showing the way, isn’t that the job of the government?”

Aniruddh Singh said: “The point is that the opposition has no mudda, and they are talking Pak language.”

Vinod Singh: “The Congress is in opposition. The BJP had promised golden days, now where are those golden days?”

This led to a slanging match started between Vinod Singh and Aniruddh Singh.

Kohli said: “See, crude oil price rise is not under the control of the government. But what the government can do is to find out the reason why vegetable prices have shot up. Check the hoarders. Why is no action being taken against the hoarders?”

Aniruddh Singh: “All works are done in a parallel way. Randeep Surjewala has tweeted on Pulwama, how can we keep shut on that? What did Congress do in 70 years?”

Kohli said: “This is a serious matter, of the common man’s pocket. On February 1, budget will be presented. There are three pillars of the economy: consumption; government expenditure; third is, the new industries. I would like to add a fourth, which is exports. All these engines of growth have to start off with speed. Rural consumption needs to go up urgently.”

Chandrashekhar said: “In December, there has been no hike in fuel prices, the largest hike has been that of the prices of vegetables. Government has to launch this fight against inflation. If RBI increases interest rate, it will lead to a complex situation. On the supply side, the government has to take the right steps, import food grains to deal with the shortage. In manufacturing, there has been the least growth, only 2 percent, what happened to Make In India ?”

Aniruddh Singh said: “See if one sector is impacted, there might be a boom in another. Some sectors are affected by the seasonal weather.”

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Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav to skip CBI summons in illegal mining case

Akhilesh Yadav will skip the CBI summon as he is scheduled to attend a meeting in Lucknow.

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The Samajwadi Party (SP) chief, Akhilesh Yadav, decided not to be cooperative in the ongoing inquiry by refusing to cooperate with the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) summons over the illegal mining case.

It is uncertain that Akhilesh Yadav will visit Delhi tomorrow since, according to a close colleague of his and a senior party official, the party office is already busy with multiple meetings about the preparations for the next Lok Sabha elections.

According to sources, Yadav has an important PDA (Picchda, Dalit, and Alpsankhyak) meeting scheduled at the party’s Lucknow headquarters later today. The party official stated that Yadav has no intention of going anywhere.

Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhury confirmed Yadav’s intention to attend the planned gathering in Lucknow. He denied any possibility of Yadav traveling to Delhi for the CBI investigation.

He said, Akhileshji will attend a meeting of PDA at the party office today. He will not be going anywhere. In Lucknow, he is scheduled to attend a meeting, said Rajendra Chowdhury.

Officials explained that Yadav is being called as a witness in the illicit mining cases that date back to his time as Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister, not as an accused party.

The cases under investigation concerned purported irregularities in the mining lease issuing, which took place between 2012 and 2016, with charges that permits were given for illicit mining activities even in the face of a National Green Tribunal prohibition.

In response to the CBI’s notice, Yadav attacked the BJP and said that the timing of the investigation was motivated by politics. He hinted that these kinds of notices, which cast doubt on the BJP’s actions and intentions, frequently occur during election seasons.

Yadav’s comments alluded to the Samajwadi Party and the ruling BJP’s continued political tensions, with charges and denials frequently occurring in the run-up to elections.

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6 Congress MLAs who cross-voted for BJP in Rajya Sabha election disqualified from Himachal assembly

Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania announced 6 MLAs, who contested on Congress symbol, attracted provisions of the anti defection law against themselves. He declared that 6 people cease to be members of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly with immediate effect.

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6 Congress MLAs who cross-voted for BJP in the Rajya Sabha election were disqualified by the speaker from the Himachal assembly on Thursday. The members have been disqualified under the anti-defection law. Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania announced 6 MLAs, who contested on Congress symbol, attracted provisions of the anti defection law against themselves. He declared that 6 people cease to be members of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly with immediate effect.

The Congress government has managed to contain the political crisis that rose due to cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha elections and the revolt by a minister. Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu passed the budget on Wednesday, and Minister Vikramaditya Singh said he will not press for resignation until talks with leaders conclude.

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi was defeated by BJP’s Harsh Mahajan through a draw of, after the two candidates won 34 votes each in the fight for the lone Rajya Sabha seat following cross-voting by the  6 MLAs. According to reports the Congress and 3 independent MLAs are reportedly camping at a guest house in Panchkula, located in BJP-run Haryana, after voting against the Congress candidate. They attended the assembly session on Wednesday.

Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania on Wednesday expelled 15 BJP MLAs, including leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur, for misconduct and allegedly shouting slogans in the Chamber of the Speaker. Chief Minister Sukhu dismissed speculation that he was resigning. He said neither the high command, nor anyone else has asked him for resignation and added the Congress government will complete its 5-year term in the state.

Congress leader Vikramaditya Singh, who had announced his resignation as a minister, on Wednesday evening said he wouldn’t press his resignation until a dialogue with party leaders was not completed. He, after meeting party central observers said the government was never in a crisis.

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Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan arrested in Sandeshkhali case

Following the arrest, Section 144 has been imposed in Sandeshkhali.

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The Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan was arrested on Thursday morning in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal after escaping for 55 days. Sheikh Shahjahan is accused of sexual abuse and land grabbing by multiple women.

A senior police Aminul Islam Khansaid  that the 53-year-old Trinamool strongman would be appearing in court today after being taken from the Minakhan region of North 24 Parganas.

Three days prior, the Calcutta High Court had said that he should be arrested and chastised the state police for their inaction in prosecuting the Trinamool leader. This arrest has already occurred.

Section 144 has been enforced in Sandeshkhali, including the areas of Sarberia and Akunjipara close to Sheikh Shahjahan’s home, as a result of the arrest.

Shajahan Sheikh and his allies have been accused by many women in Sandeshkhali of land-grabs and forced sexual assault. For almost a month, the riverine area has been the center of protests calling for the arrest of Sheikh and his collaborators.

In response to the arrest, West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said that the Mamata Banerjee administration was forced to take action due to the continuous agitation by the BJP.

The government was is denial mode. They weren’t even acknowledging that anything had actually occurred. They would force the government to arrest Sheikh Shahjahan, as he previously said. The government and Mamata Banerjee are forced to arrest Sheikh Shahjahan today because of the BJP’s and the women of Sandeshkhali’s agitation, he said.

Shahjahan’s arrest was postponed because of the stay order, according to Trinamool MP Santanu Sen, who also remarked that the arrest demonstrates how the government follows rajdharma in an administrative manner. He also said, the TMC is a better source of rajdharma than the BJP.

Abhishek Banerjee claimed that the court’s stay order prevented the police from arresting him. After the stay order was lifted, he was arrested in 3–4 days, according to the Triamool leader.

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