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Weak Rupee, High Fuel Prices, Bypoll Defeats: Remember 2013?

Are we witnessing a repeat of 2013 all over again in 2018 in terms of the often buried but powerful headlines?

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Video Editors: Abhishek Sharma and Purnendu Pritam

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We’re plagued, at regular intervals, by the very unfortunate reports of mob lynching from across the country. But that’s not where it ends. We are also served regular doses of news, such as a weak rupee, an unusual spike in crude prices resulting in costlier domestic fuel, sulking allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and by-election losses for the ruling coalition.

Are we witnessing an action replay of 2013, all over again in 2018, at least in terms of the often-buried but powerful headlines?

Rupee’s Free Fall, Hitting An All-Time Low

Take the rupee’s free fall in recent months, for instance. Having already fallen nearly 8 per cent in the last six months alone – breaching the psychologically important 69 rupees to a dollar mark – there seems to be no respite in sight. If we dig deep, the picture looks quite grim.

Petrol, Diesel Prices Rocketing

What is going to weigh in on the rupee further is the spurt in global crude prices. The crude has been hovering in the range of $80 a barrel and the price of petrol closer to Rs 75 a litre in Delhi. Does this not remind us of what we saw and screamed about in 2013?

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String of Bypoll Losses

There is no denying that the BJP has had a dream run since its spectacular show in the 2014 Lok Sabha, winning state after state. However, the party seems to have been faced with some serious anti-incumbency now, if recent electoral reverses are any indication. The losses in Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha constituencies in Rajasthan, Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairan in Uttar Pradesh and Bhandara-Gondia in Maharashtra must have punctured the invincibility of the saffron party.

Sounds familiar again? The Congress was decimated in almost all elections held in 2013. The defeat was staggering in states where the grand old party was in direct contest with the BJP, giving an indication of what was to come in 2014. Do the recent poll losses of the BJP send out the same signal?

Can we afford to ignore the underlying message behind the recurrence of the same set of headlines after five years?

Read the full article here.

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