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Election result 2020: Meet the youngest members of the new Delhi Assembly



The average age of the newly elected members of the Delhi Assembly (MLAs) is nearly five years more than that of the previous Assembly members. This should not come as a surprise, as three of the five youngest members of 2015 are still among the five youngest, albeit with an addition of five years to their age. The age of the youngest MLA this time is nearly five years more than the youngest of 2015, and so is that of the oldest.

In almost a repeat of its stupendous performance five years earlier, the Arvind Kejriwal-led (AAP), which had swept the 2015 election by bagging 67 of the 70 seats in Delhi, managed to retain 62 in 2020. It also maintained its vote share to roughly the same level, even as the principal Opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), increased its share by about 5 percentage points. The BJP bagged the five seats lost by the AAP to increase its tally from just three in 2015 to eight now.

Talking of the age of winners, the number of ‘young’ MLAs (in the age bracket to 25 to 50 years) has fallen to 39 from 49 in 2015. The youngest MLA this time, Kuldeep Kumar from the Kondli Assembly constituency, is aged 30. In the previous Assembly, the youngest were Prakash Jarwal from Deoli and Rituraj Govind from Kirari, both aged 26 in 2015. Now, there are 31 legislators who are aged 51 years or more, compared with 20 last time.

It should, however, be noted that 45 of the 70 sitting MLAs have been re-elected in 2020. Their age now is five years more than in 2015.

Interestingly, the average age of AAP legislators (47.7 years) is nearly 10 years less than that BJP legislators (57.4 years), even as the two oldest — Ram Niwas Goel (72) and Parlad Singh Sawhney (69) — are both from the AAP, shows an analysis by Business Standard. That is because going by the lowest age, top 32 are all from the AAP. The youngest of the eight BJP legislators is Abhay Verma (47).

Let’s take a look at the five youngest MLAs in the new Delhi Assembly:

1. Kuldeep Kumar, 30 years

Kuldeep Kumar

Kuldeep Kumar. Photo: AAP website

Seat: Kondli

Party: AAP

Defeated: Raj Kumar (BJP)

Victory margin: 17,907 votes

Kuldeep Kumar won from Kondli (SC) Assembly seat, which falls in the East Delhi parliamentary constituency, represented in Parliament by the BJP’s Gautam Gambhir. Kumar bagged 68,348 votes and defeated the BJP’s Raj Kumar 17,907. The difference between the vote shares of the two was 13.92 percentage point. This seat was previously held by Manoj Kumar, also of the AAP.

2. Raghav Chadha, 31 years

Raghav Chaddha

Raghav Chaddha. Photo: PTI

Seat: Rajinder Nagar

Party: AAP

Defeated: Sardar R P Singh (BJP)

Victory margin: 20,058 votes

Raghav Chadha, a 31-year-old chartered accountant, is one of the youngest MLAs in the Delhi Assembly now. An AAP spokesperson for many years and one of the party’s most affable faces, Chadha won the Rajinder Nagar seat by defeating Sardar R P Singh of the BJP by 20,058 votes. The difference between their votes shares was 19.35 percentage points. This seat was previously held by Vijender Garg Vijay, also of the AAP.

Rajinder Nagar, part of the New Delhi Lok Sabha constituency, currently represented by Meenakshi Lekhi of the BJP. Chadha is a (DU) alumnus who specialises in international tax and transfer pricing. Previously an advisor to the AAP government, he was forced to step down as the Centre deemed his appointment illegal. had also contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from South Delhi but lost to the BJP’s

3. Prakash Jarwal, 31 years

Prakash Jarwal, AAP

Prakash Jarwal with (Photo: @PrakashJarwal)

Seat: Deoli

Party: AAP

Defeated: Arvind Kumar (BJP)

Victory margin: 40,173 votes

Prakash Jarwal left his job of assistant manager at a multinational company to join the Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption movement, and later the AAP. His brief stint in politics has been mired in controversy. In July 2017, Jarwal was booked for molesting and harassing a woman who was allegedly a member of the Rashtravadi Janata Party. The following year, on February 20, he was arrested for assaulting Delhi chief secretary Anshu Prakash at the residence of Chief Minister He was granted bail on March 9.

In 2020, Jarwal won the Deoli seat, part of the South Delhi parliamentary constituency — represented in the Lok Sabha by the BJP’s — for a third straight time. He defeated his nearest rival Arvind Kumar of the BJP by a margin of 40,173 votes; the difference between their vote shares was 26.73 percentage points.

4. Rituraj Govind, 31 years

Rituraj Govind, AAP

Rituraj Govind (Photo: @AapRituraj)

Seat: Kirari

Party: AAP

Defeated: Anil Jha (BJP)

Victory margin: 5,654 votes

In the 2020 Delhi Assembly election, Rituraj Govind won the Kirari seat, which is part of the North West Delhi Lok Sabha constituency, represented by BJP Delhi chief Govind defeated the BJP’s Anil Jha by a narrow margin of 5,654 votes. The gap between the vote shares of the two was 3.26 percentage points. Anil Jha, who had won from here in the 2013 Delhi election, lost to Govind in both 2015 and 2020.

Govind, who comes from a village in Bihar’s Samastipur, has studied Hotel Management from The Monarch International College of Hotel Management. He has two criminal cases pending against him.

5. Rakhi Birla, 32 years

Rakhi Birla

Rakhi Birla (Photo:

Seat: Mangol Puri

Party: AAP

Defeated: Karam Singh Karma (BJP)

Victory margin: 30,116 votes

Rakhi Birla, who was first elected to the Delhi Assembly as a 25-year-old, won the Mangol Puri seat for a third straight time in 2020 by beating the BJP’s Karam Singh Karma by 30,116 votes. The different between the vote shares of the two was 34.76 percentage points. Mangol Puri is part of the North West Delhi parliamentary seat, currently represented by the BJP’s

A mass communication student and former journalist, Rakhi Birla came in contact with during the Anna Hazare-led Jan Lokpal movement of 2011. She also contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, but lost to the BJP’s Udit Raj in North West Delhi.

After the 2013 elections, she had become the youngest minister in the first Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government that lasted only 49 days. Later, after the 2015 Assembly polls, the two-time MLA from Mangol Puri went on to become one of the youngest deputy speakers.

First Published: Sat, February 15 2020. 14:42 IST

Source: Business Standard

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HAMISH MCRAE: Soon we will need to get on the road to recovery




At a human level, the coming weeks remain utterly uncertain as this catastrophe continues to unfold. 

But at a financial and economic level, we may be beginning to understand what might happen through the spring and summer. 

Some parts of our economy may come through in reasonable shape. 

Others will struggle to regain pace even as the threat from the virus recedes. We saw the markets trying to make sense of this last week. It was a roller-coaster ride for equities. 

Stocking up: Food suppliers and drug manufacturers are doing better than tourism and travel

Stocking up: Food suppliers and drug manufacturers are doing better than tourism and travel

Stocking up: Food suppliers and drug manufacturers are doing better than tourism and travel

They swung from despair to a realisation that, come the autumn, there would still be a functioning world economy – and then back again to despair. 

People would need to buy the products and services that companies provide. 

There was also a recognition that some enterprises would fare better than others. 

Obviously food suppliers and drug manufacturers would do better than tourism and travel, but also those with hefty cash balances would do better than those with huge borrowings. The rule applies to everyone. 

This is a good time to have cash in the bank. But suppose you are (still) asset rich but are feeling the squeeze?

It is a practical question for a lot of businesses. For example, Tata announced on Friday that it will spin off Jaguar Land Rover from its Indian truck business so that the UK car side can seek ‘strategic alliances’ with other companies. 

It is also a practical question for a lot of households. You were thinking of selling the house and moving, maybe raising some funds. Well, that is not going to happen for a while.

 The Government has recognised that lenders face many requests to suspend mortgage payments from borrowers under stress, and to ease the pressure on them have told buyers to hold off. The market is in practice frozen. 

Housing is itself a huge sector and when home sales tank that also has a knock-on effect. As anyone who has moved home knows, you end up spending money on a string of other things, from furnishings to kitchens to the trampoline for the kids. 

So another chunk of economic activity, alongside pubs, restaurants, many retailers and so on, goes into the deep freeze. 

When markets cannot function properly it is better to shut them down. But it is also important to get them functioning again as soon as possible. There is the challenge. We have to get things going again as soon as we can. Some sectors will bounce back. 

Just because someone has to postpone a house move does not mean that they don’t want to move at all. 

They will want new stuff to put in the house when they do. So I expect the housing market to recover fairly quickly. 

But other sectors will struggle to regain traction. I expect the airlines to suffer for a long time, as people realise they don’t need to travel so much for business and don’t want to travel so much for leisure. 

The Government and the Bank of England are doing the right thing, pumping up the economy in all sorts of ways. 

But they can’t kick-start economic recovery by making us spend money that we no longer have or don’t want to part with after the health crisis is over. 

The damage is particularly severe for small businesses and the self-employed, and they are the beating heart of the economy. 

So the initiative of Rishi Sunak to target support for this sector is truly welcome. But it is not easy. As the Chancellor pointed out, the Government cannot save every business. 

It cannot pretend that the shutdown will have no impact, and even the businesses that do scramble through will not get back to where they were for perhaps a couple of years. Businesses fail even in the best of times. 

The plan is not perfect, but we should not let the perfect get in the way of the good. 

After the financial crash of 2008-9 and the subsequent bank rescues, a senior official at the Bank of England said to me: ‘We didn’t do it well, Hamish, but we did it just well enough.’ Fingers crossed, the Government is doing this one just well enough. 

Yes, the off-licence is essential 

I was relieved to see that off-licences are deemed essential retail services. 

One of the ways we will keep sane in our self-isolation is to make sure we have regular chats every evening to our friends and families. 

I find they work a lot better with a glass in the hand.


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Discoms’ outstanding dues to power gencos rise nearly 32% in January




Power producers’ total outstanding dues owed by distribution firms rose nearly 32 per cent to Rs 88,311 crore in January 2020 over the same month previous year, reflecting stress in the sector.

Distribution companies (discoms) owed a total of Rs 67,012 crore to power generation companies in January 2019, according to portal PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators).

The portal was launched in May 2018 to bring in transparency in power purchase transactions between the generators and discoms.

In January 2020, the total overdue amount, which was not cleared even after 60 days of grace period offered by generators, stood at Rs 76,192 crore as against Rs 51,453 crore in the same month of the preceding year.

According to the latest data on the portal, outstanding dues in January has decreased over the preceding month. In December 2019, the total dues of discoms stood at Rs 86,948 crore.

However, the overdue amount in January increased over the preceding month, from Rs 75,930 crore in December 2019.

Power producers give 60 days to discoms for paying bills for the supply of electricity. After that, outstanding dues become overdue and generators charge penal interest on that in most cases.

In order to give relief to power generation companies (gencos), the Centre enforced a payment security mechanism from August 1, 2019. Under this mechanism, discoms are required to open letters of credit for getting power supply.

The central government has given three months moratorium to discoms for paying dues to power generating companies (gencos) in view of lockdown till April 14 to contain COVID-19 across the country. The government has also waived off the penal charges for late payment of dues in the directive issued earlier this week.

Discoms in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu account for the major portion of dues to power gencos, the data showed.

Overdues of independent power producers amount to 25.94 per cent of the total overdue of Rs 76,192 crore of discoms in January. The proportion of PSU gencos in the overdue was 39 per cent.

Among the central public sector power generators, the NTPC alone has an overdue amount of Rs 11,007.50 crore on discoms, followed by NLC India at Rs 4,731.13 crore, Damodar Valley Corporation at Rs 4,614.49 crore, NHPC at Rs 2,548.85 crore and THDC India at Rs 2,129.53 crore.

Among private generators, discoms owe the highest overdue of 3,421.68 crore to RKMP (RKM Powergen Pvt Ltd) followed by Adani Power at Rs 3,201.68 crore, Bajaj Group-owned Lalitpur Power Generation Company Ltd at Rs 2,212.66 crore and GMR at Rs 1,930.16 crore.

The overdue of non-conventional energy producers like solar and wind, stood at Rs 6,618.20 crore in January.

First Published: Sun, March 29 2020. 17:25 IST

Source: Business Standard

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Rural wages in West Bengal set to take a hit as migrant workers return home




At Gobardhanpur, one of the last of West Bengal’s villages falling in the deltaic Sundarban region, there is a deep fear of outbreak among locals. In just two days, March 19 and 20 , and before interstate train services were suspended on March 21, hundreds of arrived in the area mostly from southern states, say locals.

“Two days prior to lockdown, close to 100 people came to two villages here. The villagers immediately informed the local administration, which instructed these to stay at home. Now villagers are keeping a strict vigil on their movements,” says Biswadip Sahu, a fisherman at Gobardhanpur.

Hiron Raut, along with nine others arrived at his native Buraburir Tat, a village adjacent to Gobardhapur, some 10 days back from Kerala, where he was earning Rs 600-900 a day as a construction worker. His savings will soon be exhausted and he stares at an uncertain future. The government has announced an aid of Rs 1,000 a month to daily wage earners in the state.

“Whatever money we had will be exhausted in the next 15-20 days. I don’t know how I will survive after that. I am not sure how long the government will support us,” says Raut.

The thousands of workers returning home to amid the pandemic are being seen as a liability and unwelcome guests in their own homes. Meanwhile, the distress in rural economy is already visible.

“Many small grocery shops in rural areas have permanently shut down as they are unable to buy essential food items at high price from big traders. This rural distress might assume mammoth proportions. As far as these are concerned, they are quite prone to exploitation as there will be an oversupply for labour in rural areas,” said Dilip Benerjee, an Ashoka fellow who has studied migration pattern in

“The migrant workers who are now back home are seen as huge burden on the local economy. They don’t have requisite skills to be employed in agriculture,” says Aniruddha Dey, Executive Director, Professional Institute for Development & Socio Environmental Management (PRISM), an environment consultancy firm.

Indrajit Das, a textile worker in Tamil Nadu, fears he will be forced to take up farming, the only source of livelihood at Chimta in the Sundarbans, a village that is yet to get a power connection.

“It will be a big challenge for me to take up farming, as I have never done it before. But I will be forced to now, if things remain like this for long,” says Das.

However, Das considers himself lucky to have come back home. His fellow workers informed him from Chennai a day ago that they were having tough time getting meals twice a day.

“Many of my friends could not come back and said they were having a difficult time getting full meals. Workers from Bengal will not be helped in Tamil Nadu,” he says.

“This pandemic is mostly an urban phenomenon and people rushed to rural areas as they saw safe havens in them. But due to the sudden increase in labour supply, the market wages, including those in agriculture, will come down. These people would now depend upon MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) for work, but the worrying fact is that on an average in the past four years, employment under MNREGA was provided for just 40-45 days in a year. Besides daily wages are much lower than agriculture wages,” says K R Shyam Sundar, professor of human resource management at Xavier Institute of Management, Jamshedpur.

According to Census data 2011, West Bengal ranked fourth among states on outward migration. The numbers have only risen since.

In the last two decades, West Bengal has had a massive wave of outward migration, especially to Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Maharashtra. With factories and tea gardens closing down, farm income falling and storm Aila ravaging a large part of deltaic West Bengal in 2010, migration gradually became a norm

“In 2001, West Bengal was net positive in terms of migration, but by 2011, it turned net negative. Long-term policy failure, demographic transition that added a large young population and agrarian stagnation led to this wave of outward migration, and it has been growing,” says Rabiul Ansary, assistant professor, department of geography, Utkal University.

The business of migration is itself an industry in parts of rural Bengal.

“Wherever people got easily absorbed, they went. There are agents who act as mediators for providing jobs to young people, especially school dropouts in their early teens. Those who go as migrant workers, themselves become agents after a few years,” says Dey.

While a construction worker in the southern states can earn as much as Rs 500-900 a day, in West Bengal, agriculture yields not more than Rs 200-300 per day.

“These people came in a jiffy and many didn’t even get time to collect dues from their employers. They can barely survive for 20-25 days,” says Pranabesh, a social worker with Sundarban Green Environment Association.

In North Bengal, another emigration hotspot, many women left home to work as domestics in north Indian states. Unlike the men, not many have been able to return home amid the pandemic.

“Many workers wanted to come back, but couldn’t. Several people came in trucks, and Police took them to local hospitals for check-up. Now, tea workers also apprehend that once the gardens open, they will not be paid for days. There is also a fear that many migrant workers will not get jobs for long, as they might be ostracized due to social distancing,” said Nita Dhar, senior programme coordinator, PRISM.

As the world awaits the end of the global pandemic, rural Bengal sees a recession unfolding bit by bit.

First Published: Sun, March 29 2020. 15:57 IST

Source: Business Standard

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