One week ago, Pranab Mukherjee‘s first full budget in the UPA’s second innings, with the proposal to increase duty on petroleum products, sparked the first ever walkout by a combined opposition in the name of the aam admi and aurat.
The move has been variously interpreted as a sign of a pumped-up Congress ditching the common man; as a triumph of IMF-driven neoliberalist policies; even as the return of anti-Congress politics. Some commentators have even pulled out their calculators to do the numbers.
Well, The Telegraph, Calcutta, has some news for all those frothing at the mouth.
Using government data, the paper exposes the “economic amnesia and political compulsions” behind the breast-beating over rising prices. The price of the “fuel of the poor” went up by 258% during the eight-year non-Congress period from 1996 as against 2% in the last six years and so on.