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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

AAP sweep ... Onions hit 100 and no import of gold coins says PC

Elections to the Delhi State Assembly will be held on 4 December 2013; results will be out by 8th Dec.  This  will be one of the first five elections in which the Election Commission of India will implement a "None of the above" (NOTA) voting option, allowing the electorate to register a neutral vote but not to outright reject candidates.

Dr Harsh Vardhan has been named as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief ministerial candidate.   Sure there would be a tough fight for ousting Ms Sheila Dixit ….. BSP and Communists too are in the fray… as also the ‘Aam Aadmi Party’ (translation: Common Man's Party), party formally launched on 26 November 2012 arising out differences between the founder Arvind Kejriwal and Anna Hazare on whether or not to politicise the popular India Against Corruption movement that had been demanding a Jan Lokpal Bill since 2011. Incidentally, do you know the election symbol of AAP ?

Gold prices came crashing down about 6 months ago ~ but slowly have stationed themselves back where they were earlier… today 1 gram of 22 KT gold costs Rs.2949/- ; it is Rs.3153/- for 24 KT gold per gram.  It is not the gold price but spiralling price of another which might have some say in the election campaign.

It is that of ‘Allium cepa’ – the bulb onion that is embattling the Central Govt – not on any welfare motive but on the run up to State polls.  The onion prices, defying the sharp dip in the rates in the country's biggest wholesale market at Lasalgaon in Nashik, continued to spiral and touched the Rs 100 per kg mark in the city and elsewhere making the Govt panick-stricken. Food minister K V Thomas rushed to Maharashtra as the Congress-ruled state accounts for 28% of the total onion production and can help tame prices by cracking down on hoarders. Commerce minister Anand Sharma blamed hoarders for the spike in onion prices which political rivals have painted as the UPA government's failure, and worse, insensitivity towards the poor. The Congress government in Delhi, which rode the onion anger to power in 1998, was more precise as it shifted the blame on hoarders in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh. Civil supplies minister Haroon Yusuf alleged that hoarders were keeping supplies from reaching Delhi to sabotage Congress's prospects in the assembly elections.

But a Govt ruling at the Centre and State should have strategy and plans in place rather than simple letting out of anger.  We even heard of Food Minister’s talk on banning exports ! ~ should sound only a political statement as none would send farther off when one can realize higher revenue locally.  It should be other way – allowing imports from neighbouring countries……….. some agencies report that Onion supplies increased by close to 15% but still prices have not been controlled.

Now they will blame the farmers for keeping their stocks expecting higher prices, when it is public knowledge that it is always the middlemen who control the market.  Elsewhere, the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of lifting a ban on import of gold coins and medallions and asked banks to strictly follow guidelines restricting inward shipments of the metal. “Import of gold coins and gold medallions is prohibited. Nobody can import gold coins and medallions,” he said, referring to a suggestion that the government should allow import of coins for ‘shagun’ (auspicious gift) purposes.

He said traders can buy gold from the domestic market and make coins, but the government will not relax the curbs that were imposed to contain the current account deficit (CAD). High gold imports of 845 tonnes was one of the main reasons that pushed the CAD — the difference between the inflow and outflow of foreign exchange — to a record high of 4.8 per cent of GDP, or $88.2 billion, in the previous financial year.

So for some it is Gold or Onions……….. the  Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is contesting the coming Delhi assembly election with "broom" as its symbol. The  party said broom symbolized dignity of labour. "With broom, the party hopes to clean the filth which has permeated our government and legislature. The country needs a clean sweep of its corrupted mainstream political parties," the statement added.
photo courtesy : NDTV - will he be spoilsport for BJP's chances is the Q

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

23rd Oct 2013.

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