Youth, students will explode in anger: Chidambaram warns govt about slowing economy
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has been facing a wave of protests on the streets and campuses across the country as students and others have questioned its intentions over the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA.Updated: Jan 14, 2020 09:22 IST
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram cautioned the government on Tuesday over what he said could tip the country’s youth after the raging protests against the amended citizenship act and National Population Register (NPR).
As the former Union finance minister, in several tweets, warned the Centre about the effects the sliding economy, he also took a jibe over rising inflation.
“The nation is engrossed with the anti-CAA, anti-NPR protests. Both present a clear and present danger. The sliding economy is an even greater threat to the country. If unemployment rises and incomes decline, there is the danger of youth and students exploding in anger,” Chidambaram wrote.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has been facing a wave of protests on the streets and campuses across the country as students and others have questioned its intentions over the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA.
The senior leader’s tweets also focussed on the rising consumer price index (CPI) inflation which touched its highest level in more than five years as he questioned the competence of the government and the assurances of “acche din”
Government data showed on Monday retail inflation climbed sharply to 7.35% in December 2019, mainly due to high food prices. It was 2.11% in December 2018 and 5.54% in November 2019.
“The circle of incompetent management is complete. Mr Narendra Modi’s government started in July 2014 with CPI inflation at 7.39 per cent. In December 2019, it was 7.35 per cent,” Chidambaram posted.
“Food inflation stands at 14.12 per cent. Vegetable prices are up 60 per cent. Onion prices are over Rs 100 per kg. This is the ‘achhe din’ promised by the BJP,” he said.
The rising retail inflation will pose a political and economic challenge to the Narendra Modi government.
Analysts fear that the number, in excess of the upper band of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s comfort level of 4% plus-or-minus 2 percentage points, will prevent the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) from cutting interest rates to boost economic growth.
The committee had paused its rate cut cycle in December last year with headline inflation numbers inching up. The December spike, which will be the latest available data when the MPC meets in February, is likely to prolong the pause on any further reductions in policy rates, analysts said.