It has now emerged that the inflation figures during UPA 2 have already gone beyond the corresponding ones for the entire tenure of UPA 1. Not only was the wholesale price index for the last three years one per cent more than the overall WPI for 2004-09, the prices of primary food articles also witnessed a greater increase during 2009-12.
People are now shelling out double for cereals, pulses, milk, fruits, eggs, meat and fish compared to what they paid for the same items when the NDA was in power. While the prices of vegetables trebled in the interim, fuel and power prices went up over 90 per cent. Incidentally, the impact of the steep petrol price hike in May has not been factored in as only the data upto April 2012 was collated.
It is a great irony that alcohol turned cheaper during UPA rule but toddy, the poor man's drink, became costlier. The prices of bakery products, cosmetics, air conditioners, auto parts and refrigerators did not go up that much in the last eight years. Electronics, IT hardware and communication equipment actually became cheaper. This means the poor as well as the middle class bore the brunt of the soaring inflation while the rich who were anyway less likely to get affected by rising prices enjoyed the best of times.
The UPA rule has been marked by one financial scandal after the other. According to the Comptroller and Auditor General, flawed and discriminatory 2G Spectrum allocation by the Telecom Ministry in 2008 caused a total loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer. Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi, a Congress MP, was jailed for corruption linked to the Commonwealth Games that was held at Delhi in 2010.
As many as three former chief ministers, all belonging to the ruling party, are accused in the Adarsh scam. The arrest of YS Jaganmohan Reddy on the evening of May 27, 2012 is ostensibly related to the alleged improprieties committed by him during the time his late father YS Rajasekhara Reddy led a Congress government in Andhra Pradesh.
In all the aforementioned cases, the accused are guilty of venality on a large scale. It seems that the leaders of the UPA are only interested in lining their deep pockets. The huge amounts they swindled could have well been used to fund big ticket schemes. Instead the government is thinking of reducing the subsidies on LPG, diesel and kerosene.
Even as the rulers make hay while the sun shines, the aam admi is forced to pay through the nose for essential commodities. So far the government has been juggling the statistics and claiming that the price rise is negligible. It is shocking that the Sonia Gandhi-led party which claims to be working for the common man's welfare has perpetrated such a fraud upon him.