Delhi cannot breathe; 3-course meal for Gujarat voters; US Fed firefights inflation

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Opinion Watch

Delhi cannot breathe

There is a sudden spike in number of patients in hospitals with aggravated lung conditions. Asthmatic people in Delhi and Noida are facing nightmarish moments, confined to their homes. The air quality index in Delhi and the adjoining cities has turned poisonous.

The Pioneer in its Editorial has warned that the situation will get worse when temperature further dips. The daily has quoted several organisations to state that stubble burning accounts for one-third of the total PM 2.50 pollution in the national capital, followed by vehicular pollution at about 17 per cent.

The Indian Express has cited the successful intervention of the Haryana government which has brought the cases of stubble burning by 30 per cent this year, while the same has gone up in Punjab by about 19 per cent. The difference is on account of the Haryana government executing the plan which involved subsidised machines to dispose crop waste made available to farmers along with sensitisation of the farmers.

This is now an annual feature, and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party is certainly seen beating around the bushes on grave challenges faced by Delhi, which include pollution, Yamuna, expanding urban ghetto and so on. Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, is least a man of action and more a man of speeches and sermons. His counterpart Bhagwant Singh Mann is an administrative disaster. Also, farmers of Punjab keep over three crore people in the national capital regions to ransom each year with impunity. This can happen only in India.

3-course meal for Gujarat voters

Gujarat goes to poll in two phases, and the campaign window has been cut down to just about one month. For 27 years, the Bharatiya Janata Party remains undefeated in Gujarat.

The Times of India reminded that the BJP had got a reprieve in the 2017 Gujarat elections after a spirited Patidar reservation campaign had forced Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stay put in the state to save the saffron outfit, which required whipping Congress’ Mani Shankar Aiyer for ‘Neech’ remark and also hopping on a seaplane from the Sabarmati Riverfront to awe the people with the scale of dream. That seaplane never became operational, and the Patidars are as restive as they had been five years ago.

The daily along with The Indian Express sized up the prospects of the Aam Aadmi Party, noting that the performance in the Surat Municipal Corporation is giving hope to the Kejriwal outfit, which is also counting on several Congress leaders joining its ranks. For Congress, the challenge is two front – Rahul Gandhi stuck in Bharat Jodo Yatra and passing away of Ahmed Patel.

US Fed firefights inflation

The US Fed hiked the interest rate with 75 basis points to make it 4 per cent, and the accompanying commentary failed to cheer up the market participants. The prospects of inflation are looming.

The Economic Times noted that the projection of the peak interest rate in the US has been scaled up to five per cent against 4.6 per cent previously thought of. The daily also listed out challenges for the Reserve Bank of India, for the interest rate difference in the US and India could be too narrow, which may send dollar on flight out of the country. The RBI will have to firefight to defend rupee, besides also finding ways to give momentum to the Indian economy, which otherwise is stuck in low growth bind even while the government coffers are swelling on the back of higher tax collections.

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