High cost of living should be one of the agendas for the Lok Sabha elections

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Representational Image. (Image credit: Consumer News)

As the nation welcomes the 7th Pay Commission at the cost losing pension and with the Price index of all commodities sky rocketing multiple times as compared to the ration of rise in salary from 6th Pay Commission, no individual has raised any alarm as they have been blinded by the figures of respective salary at hand. Above that, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has failed to relieve the middle class population as it was expected that all essential commodities will be cheaper. The general masses have no avenues to air their grievances on these issues and therefore the aspirant candidates for the upcoming first phase of the Lok Sabha polls on April 11 should express their empathy for the masses and seek a solution in the 17th Session of the Parliament.

It may be recalled that as the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government headed by Narendra Damodardas Modi rolled out the GST- New Tax regime of One Nation, One Tax concept on July 1, 2017, it was expected that the middle classes and Below Poverty Line (BPL) sections of the society will be able to afford to now have nutritious food habits. However, this has turned to be a disaster as now it is pinching their pockets more as everything is more expensive compared to the Pre-GST times. Also the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) during late 2018 had touched the Rs 1000 mark for refill of each 14.2 kilogram cylinder. At present, every individual household across India is suffering due to the high cost of recharge for cable network television, as the government attempted to revolutionize the television services, while the masses have to shell-out more for the same packages they were paying smaller sums for in the past. The hike in the tariff for electricity, telecommunication services, internet recharge to the high cost of medication is simply being pushed down to the masses, who have no other option to seek redressal.

In this backdrop, it is time we elect representatives who can be the voices and change the Indian economic structure, by working out designs and solutions, in simple words to draft people friendly legislations in the Parliament.

At present, if we focus on Meghalaya, as per the observation of the working professionals, it has been expressed through Khasi as: Dang rem khlieh sniang ban khlieh briew (A pig’s head is costlier than a human head). The cliché is an innuendo to the falling value of human life due to the cold blooded murder, kidnapping for flesh trade and sale of human organs which are all in violation of Human Rights. This, in various degrees has made individual lives cheaper than commodities, including a pig’s head which is a delicacy here and which usually goes out for high prices especially on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

It is time the electorate highlights all such issues, which most from the middle classes and BPL sections of the society are facing, such that the political parties and candidates can include these issues in the manifestoes, exclusively for the state of Meghalaya and the rest of the nation in general.

Such burning issues should be one of the agendas of the upcoming LS election. As of now, most political parties continue to ride on the issues of law and order, empowering women, information technology, express highways, fights for special status of various communities and tribes. It is useless to preach to those with a hungry stomach about all these modern issues. Candidates should draw a blueprint to improve the economic status of the individual family then move towards the development of infrastructural and development of society which will in turn control the price hike and relieve the masses from all the complexities of taxation and other service taxes of the state and central agencies. Wake up and elect the most able candidate who can address these issues.