Sena and opposition parties protest against the state government’s failure to control pulses price rise.
The rising prices of pulses like Tur Dal and Urad Dal has become a major cause of concern for the BJP led Maharashtra government. The government is receiving flak from opposition parties and citizens for its inability to control pulses prices. BJP’s ally Shiv Sena protested against the state government’s failure to control pulses prices and sold Tur Dal to citizens at Rs 50 per kg. MNS too protested against the rising prices of lentils from S.V road to Borivali signal in the city. The Congress held a rally under the leadership of Sanjay Nirupam against the government in Bandra over escalating pulses prices. The party demanded that price of pulses be brought down to allow bulk purchases, in view of Diwali and Dusshera celebrations. Deficient rainfall has affected pulses production and probable artificial hoardings to increase rates have caused the price hike.
Sanjay Nirupam, the Mumbai Congress president, said, “During the Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi had promised to curb inflation. In the last one and a half years, prices have only risen.”
The prices of Tur Dal have already shot up to Rs 210 per kg and if the situation continues in this manner then it will reach Rs 250 per kg soon. The rising prices of pulses have already dampened the festive spirit of citizens. The black lentil used to cost Rs 60 to Rs 80 during the erstwhile UPA regime.
The Mumbai Congress warned the government to slash prices of pulses before the Diwali festival. “There is a gap of at least 10 lakh tonne annually between supply and demand, which is met by imports from Australia, Tanzania and Myanmar,” Nirupam said, adding hoarding of pulses was also responsible for the price rise.
He said, “The UPA government had started a national pulse production mission. The current government must focus on improving production to curtail price rise.”
“Tur dal prices have now risen to more than Rs 200 (per kg). When tur dal prices were ruling at Rs 70-Rs 80 (per kg during the previous UPA rule) Narendra Modiji and the BJP staged agitations in the entire country. Today, the entire BJP is silent,” AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh said.
The prices of pulses have increased unabated in the last few months due to a fall in domestic output by about 2 million tonnes (mt) to 17.20 mt in 2014-15 crop year (July-June) owing to deficient monsoon and unseasonal rains.
Urad too is retailing high at Rs 170 per kg though it declined from Rs 187 per kg last week, but rates are still way higher than Rs 98 per kg that prevailed a year earlier.
Meanwhile the Centre said action against hoarders and blackmarketeers has been stepped up and the state governments have seized over 5,800 tonnes of pulses in five states over the last few months.