PBs twisty take to the top 5 news of the day.
1. Petrol and diesel prices get cheaper – Really?
Petrol price was cut by 32 paise per litre and diesel rate lowered by 85 paise per litre on Friday. This happens second time in a month in line with lower crude prices.
Main point to be noted is whether the excise duty is increased to make up for the loss and benefit is passed onto the consumers or not. Global prices go down by 75%, we get only 25% benefit. I understand that govt. has increased excise duty to cover up fiscal deficit, but don’t treat is like guinea pigs.
Govt. made fuel prices market based so that oil companies don’t make losses and suffer from subsidies, but then let consumers enjoy the benefits as well in case of fall in prices.
The reduction in the price of petrol and diesel is much lower than fall in crude oil prices – which have fallen to below $30 per barrel – has warranted. The gains have been taken away by central govt. in form of high excise duties and state governments in form of high VAT. Customer is taken for a ride.
2. Rahul takes a dig at Modi’s silence regarding the poor – Suit Boot ki Sarkar!
Rahul while inducting late singer Mohammad Rafi’s son Shahed Rafi into Congress questioned Modi’s silence on problems being faced by the poor. “It is all well to give speeches but Modi is silent on problems faced by the poor”.
Even though there weren’t many points brought up, but the accusations cannot be completely accurate as we can see that the government has learnt its lessons hence, the continuation of schemes like FBS, NREGA and additional schemes like Jan Dhan, medical / life insurance for poor has been started by Modi. He knows that the poor voters can tilt the scale in favour af any party in elections.
The irony that prevails in India is how those who have actually done well for the economy have lost polls, like Narasimha Rao, Vajpayee etc. This shows that elections work on perception and not actual work. Modi needs to be wary that the poor doesn’t consider the government “anti-poor”.
3. Manpreet Badal joins Congress ahead of Punjab polls – Jolt to Akalis?
Manpreet Badal, the estranged nephew of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, joined Congress after meeting party Vice President Rahul Gandhi. Badal even tried to join AAP, but faced resistance.
A shot in the arm for Congress as PPP got 6% votes in 2011 and led to the defeat of Congress in some seats. At the same time, it will help to counter AAP’s growing popularity. As AAP gains strength, it may be difficult though for them to dislodge Akalis alone. In the end after polls Congress + AAP may join hands in case of hung assembly.
4. Amit Shah set to be to be re-elected as BJP president – Modi saves Shah!
BJP leader Amit Shah is all set to be re-elected as the next party president. As pressure builds up after Bihar and Delhi losses, reshuffling in the organization is expected though. With no competition in party, Modi likely to have his way else Shah would have been forced to resign after Bihar debacle.
One can say that there are tough times ahead for him as BJP may face big challenge and even reverses in some polls before 2019 Lok Sabha like Punjab, Gujarat, Chattisgarh, MP and Rajasthan. Modi could also send his as Gujarat CM which would kill two birds with one stone – ensure citadel in Gujarat is saved in 2017 and criticism on why Modi continuing with Shah within party is deflected. The strategist Shah under immense pressure may have saved his job but 2016 and 2017 may seal his future.
5. Juvenile Justice act comes into effect in India – Nirbhaya effect!
The controversial Act, which allows children above 16 years of age to be treated as adults if they are accused of heinous crimes came into effect on Friday. There was a lot of hue & cry when Nirbhaya rape accused juvenile was released after spending 3 years in prison. Crime among young is increasingly and such act needed to deter youngsters.