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In its first, inflation is no longer an election issue

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Ever since we started following politics in free India, there would be few standard issues on which elections would be fought no matter whether it would be a state election or a central one. One such standard election issue used to be inflation. But have you wondered why no one is raising this issue for the upcoming 2019 general elections? The answer lies in the data.

To throw some facts, during UPA – 1 regime inflation always went northwards year on year starting from 4.2% in 2005 to 10.9% in 2009. During UPA -2 regime as well it was always in alarming zone. It recorded 12% in 2010, 8.9% in 2011, 9.3% in 2012 and 10.9% in 2013. After NDA came to power inflation has declined steadily from 6.7% in 2014 to 4.9% in 2015 & 2016, 3.3% in 2017 and 4.7% in 2018.

Thus, Inflation is no longer an issue for 2019 elections. It has been well under control in the regime of current NDA government. This is a commendable job done by the government and RBI on one very important macroeconomic factor which impact masses. It becomes more significant because this has been achieved while keeping interest rates low as which has helped in overall growth as well.

Another important point to note is that even when fuel prices went up, inflation remained in control. In last 5 years highest petrol and diesel prices were observed in the months of September, October and November 2018. In these 3 months the inflation rate was 3.69%, 3.77% and 3.31% respectively. This shows that supply chain system of India has also improved. In UPA regimes we always used to see a direct correlation between fuel prices and food inflation.

This is a huge positive change and one of the main achievements of current government. This should be put forward repeatedly in public forums TV by people having faith in current government. It is baffling to see that no one is raising questions on UPA government’s mis-management of inflation even though we had an economist as our prime minister!

We love to argue and debate in politics subjectively without looking at data. One such issue has been Rafale deal on which so many cacophonous uproars have happened without any data and logic. Recently while watching the coverage for elections held in 5 states, I heard Ashutosh (AAP fame journalist) claiming inflation is one of the issues that would decide elections results in 5 states elections. It is so convenient to use a standard template while providing arguments knowing that inflation is always an issue. How can people be so away from facts and say such blatant lies so convincingly on national news channels? Perhaps it is an art he acquired from his association with AAP or perhaps we don’t question such people very hard?

It’s true that politics is about perception but in the age of information, data should also be looked at to make our own judgements.

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