First day of Assembly session: Congress raises ruckus over rising prices
Heated debate on the issue of spiralling prices of essential commodities occurred between the treasury benches and the members of the opposition on the first day of the winter session of Uttarakhand Assembly on Wednesday. As soon as the proceedings of the day started with the question hour, the Congress party members were up on their feet on the issue of uncontrolled prices. The Leader of Opposition (LoP), Indira Hridayesh demanded a work adjournment motion under rule 310 on the issue. Adding drama to their protests, some Congress members carried placards and cut out of cooking gas cylinder inside the house. Jaspur MLA, Adesh Singh Chauhan was seen carrying a garland made of onions and garlic as a mark of protest. On being denied permission by the speaker under rule 310, the Congress members marched to the well of the house. Amid pandemonium, the speaker ruled that the discussion on the issue would be under rule 58 later in the day. Initiating debate on the issue, the LoP, Indira Hridayesh said that the price rise is the biggest issue which warrants immediate attention of the government. She said that prices of the pulses and onions are more than Rs 100 per kilogramme due which these basic food items have become out of reach of poor. Hridayesh asked the government to mention the steps taken by it to control price rise. She warned that the government that it would face dire consequences if it fails to act immediately on the issue. Participating in the discussion, the Congress MLA from Chakrata, Pritam Singh blamed GST and demonetisation for the spiralling prices. He reminded that the BJP in the general election of the 2014 had made price rise as one of a major poll issues and gave slogan like ‘Mahangai Maar Gai’. Targeting the government on unemployment, the Congress leader said that the Uttarakhand government celebrates a complete year as ‘employment year’ but fails miserably in providing employment.
Responding to the onslaught of the opposition, the parliamentary affairs minister Madan Kaushik claimed that the BJP government has put a rein on prices during its term. In an attempt to deflate the assault of opposition, he compared the prices of the rice, flour, pulses and cooking oil in Dehradun with that those in cities of Congress ruled states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and TMC ruled state of West Bengal and claimed that the prices are lowest in Uttarakhand. The minister said that the per capita income (PCI) of state has now touched Rs two lakh which is a unique feat. He held unseasonal rains responsible for high prices of onion which resulted in crop damage in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Kaushik added that the state government is providing cheap pulses under a special scheme under which two kilogrammes pulses are provided on every ration card in a month. The minister also rubbished the Congress charge that the prices are increasing due to GST and demonetisation.
Thursday, 05 December 2019 | PNS | Dehradun
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