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PM must ask ‘Howdy farmers, youth’: Congress

Sharmistha Mukherjee. File photo: Shiv Kuma

Sharmistha Mukherjee. File photo: Shiv Kuma  

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Party brings up unemployment, inflation and fuel prices

The Congress on Tuesday asked the Centre to spell out the steps it had taken to contain rising fuel prices, food inflation, unemployment and petty crimes across the country.

Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks at the ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston, U.S. that ‘everything is fine in India’, the Congress listed out high fuel prices, rising food inflation and unemployment among issues that contradict Mr. Modi’s statement.

Addressing a press conference, Congress spokespersons Sharmistha Mukherjee and Pranav Jha said they expect Mr. Modi to ask ‘Howdy Farmers and Howdy Youth” when he returns to India.

Attacking the government over consistently rising fuel prices in the past one week, the Congress said the Centre was levying ₹20 as central excise on every litre of petrol while on diesel it was ₹15.83 per litre.

“Former Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily has mentioned how the UPA government had planned an oil reservoir to store 5 lakh metric tonnes of crude that could deal with incidents like the attack on international oil wells [in Saudi Arabia]... They were to come up in Vizag, Mangalore and later in Odisha. We would like to know what happened to these sanctioned projects?” asked Mr. Jha.

Ms. Mukherjee said that not just fuel but even daily food items had seen prices shooting up in recent weeks. “While onions are being sold at ₹70 a kg, cauliflower has touched ₹100. Even tomatoes are selling for ₹50 a kg. We would like to know from the government what steps are you taking to ease the situation,” she said.

Ms. Mukherjee said the situation for the common man had been made worse by growing joblessness, both among urban and rural workers.

“When you have a young population, then generally it is considered as demographic dividend. But if we fail to channelise their energy positively, then demographic dividend can turn into a demographic nightmare. It may result in a spike in petty crimes,” she said.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 4:48:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pm-must-ask-howdy-farmers-youth-congress/article29502235.ece

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