People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 20, 2008
Rally Secular Democratic Forces In TN: Karat
Rally Secular Democratic Forces
In Tamilnadu: Prakash Karat
Prakash Karat, general secretary, declared that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) will not allow the centre to increase prices of petroleum products and demanded it to revise the exorbitant tax and excise duty levied on them, while addressing a huge rally held to mark the conclusion of the state conference in Madurai, Tamilnadu on January 10, 2008. He added:
“The government should not pass on the burden of increase in price of crude oil in international market, when the people are already suffering due to the spiraling prices of essential commodities. The Centre had already imposed one of the highest tax rates on petroleum products. Tax and excise duty formed a big portion of retail price. We are not for any increase in petrol price. We demand the government to revises the tax. We warn the centre that it would have to face a nationwide protest movement, if it went ahead with its plan to increase the prices.”
However, Prakash Karat stated that the CPI (M) would not do anything that would help the Bharatiya Janata Party come back to power and that the government would complete its full term till May 2009.
He drew attention to the BJP leader L K Advani’s remark that his party would make “every other state like Gujarat means that minorities will be treated like second-class citizens without any rights,” and said that the Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tamilnadu at the invitation of All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Jayalalithaa symbolised a communal alliance in the state.
Stating “the CPI (M) wanted to forge an alliance with secular and democratic forces that agreed to take on communalism, adopted pro-people economic policies and supported an independent foreign policy against US imperialism”, Prakash appealed to the secular forces to unite to see that the communal forces did not flourish in Tamilnadu and also urged the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam to take a lead role in the effort.