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Amritsar: Rising prices, joblessness may count as major Lok Sabha poll issues

In border areas of Punjab, drug abuse may also figure in elections

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Tribune News Service

PK Jaiswar

Amritsar, March 28

As the country prepares for Lok Sabha polls, high inflation rate leading to spiralling prices of daily essentials along with large-scale unemployment among the educated youth, are among issues likely to play a crucial role when people vote for a new government at the Centre.

Ironically, consecutive governments at the Centre have failed to address the problem while the daily essentials, including fuel prices, have increased manifold in the past two decades which directly affect the people. A recent report on unemployment in India released by the International Labour Organization (ILO), along with the Institute of Human Development (IHD), also painted a grim picture of the job scenario in the country.

In Punjab, especially in its border belt including Amritsar, rampant drug abuse would also remain a major issue which remains unaddressed.

Sunil Arora, a social activist, said unemployment is a major concern among the residents of this border state just like in other parts of the country. Due to unemployment, the youth in Punjab either fall prey to rampant drug abuse or go abroad in search of greener pastures. Many of them lose their hard-earned money or land in foreign jails.

“It is unfortunate that no government in the past could bring in industry or investments for generating employment,” he pointed out.

“Many politicians in the lead-up to the Lok Sabha polls were switching their loyalties but the real issues affecting the people were being put on the back-burner,” said Ravi Mahajan, a prominent lawyer. He said that food grains witnessed unprecedented rise in prices while fuel rates, including that of LPG, petrol and diesel, are skyrocketing. Unfortunately, this has not been getting a mention among the political speeches till now. Instead, the parties were indulging in political mudslinging, he said, while adding that there were no serious deliberations over it yet.

Deepak Kumar, a fruit stall owner, said there is no major relief from inflation for the common man who was still struggling to make his both ends meet. He said politicians have ignored issues concerning the people and they were more interested in getting tickets for contesting elections and changing parties to suit their political interests.

Suman Sharma, a homemaker, pointed out that though the Punjab government has directed the private schools not to increase fee, yet education in the region has remained the costliest. A middle-class family would think twice before getting their wards admitted to reputed private schools while education in government schools needs upgrade, she said.

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#Inflation #Lok Sabha #Unemployment

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