TURA, Oct 27: It was an election campaign that had all the stories but oil!
From countless accusations on the condition of roads, the ethnic identity of candidates, the absence of development, it almost seemed the entire package was there. Yet, the biggest missing link in the entire campaign programme was the lack of discussion on the subject of fuel prices.
From Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma to Opposition Leader Mukul Sangma, they lobbed accusations and counter accusations against each other on the issue of Rajabala’s progress.
But, tragically, there was not a word on oil. Fuel prices have hit the roof across the country and Garo Hills is also reeling under its impact, but the subject was clearly a “no-go” for the seasoned politicians. Even the BJP, which has put up a candidate for the Rajabala contest, got away with ease when it came to fuel prices. In Garo Hills, the cost of petrol has crossed the Rs 100-mark in the past one week and diesel is coming a close second in the mid-90s. “It is a known fact that whenever fuel prices get slashed the prices of essential commodities drop and vice versa. Right now, the cost of fuel is skyrocketing like never before which is having a detrimental effect along the food chain. But despite that there is no criticism or even a discussion on the fuel issue?” lamented an Economics professor from Tura.
Ever since the prices began to shoot off, so have fares for travel. This has been followed by goods which are witnessing a gradual rise in prices. “Prices of eggs have risen, so also are fish and even tickets for travel. These all indicate the impact being caused by fuel price hike. How is it that our so-called political leaders have not even raised a single point on this during the entire campaign? Either they are blind or naive!” says a primary school teacher.