(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 20, 2008
Arrest This Price Rise!
LEFT MPs MARCH TO PARLIAMENT
THE members of parliament belonging to Left parties and UNPA conducted a march to parliament protesting the price rise on April 15, 2008 – the inaugural day of the resumed budget session of parliament.
Holding placards depicting their demands for curbing the phenomenal price rise, MPs began the march from Mavalankar Hall near Constitution Club. Leading the march were Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat, Basudev Acharia [CPI(M)], Gurudas Das Gupta, D Raja (CPI), Ramgopal Yadav, Amar Singh (Samajwadi Party), Yerran Naidu (TDP) and others. More than hundred members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha participated in the march.
Speaking to media persons, Yechury said that marching to parliament was not the normal way for MPs to agitate. However since the issue was a serious one affecting the vast masses of the nation, this method was opted. He accused both the Congress and the BJP of pursuing identical anti-people economic policies which have led to such a situation.
Asked whether the Left parties would consider withdrawing support to the UPA government on the issue of price rise, Yechury replied that if they do that the BJP would come to power and pursue the same policies. He however warned that price rise could spell trouble for the ruling UPA coalition, especially with the coming elections.
Yechury blamed inclusion of essential commodities within the ambit of futures trading as a prime reason for this runaway inflation. He said a weakened public distribution system was adding to the severe woes of the aam admi.
The placards sported by the protesting MPs included demands such as “Ban on Futures Trading of Essential Commodities”, “Strengthen and Universalise PDS” “Reduce Petro Prices” etc.
Under attack from all sides, the government has agreed for for a meaningful discussion in parliament over price rise. It has appealed to the opposition not to disrupt the proceedings in parliament.
On behalf of Left parties and UNPA, agitations and dharnas would be held all over the country from April 16 to 23. If the government is not taking steps to curb price rice within that period, the Left parties and UNPA would decide future course of action after April 23, said Yechury.