People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 26

July 06 , 2008


UPA Govt Ignoring  Price Rise: Bengal LF

B Prasant

BENGAL Left Front has squarely faulted the Congress-led UPA government for patently ignoring the mounting misery of the mass of the people because of price rise of common commodities, and a runaway inflation now in double figures.  It  also firmly resolved to go in for a large-scale statewide campaign-movement on the issues of price-rise, the inflation (the highest in 13 years), and the general immiserisation of the masses.

The meeting, held at the Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan on June 30, was chaired by Biman Basu.  

Briefing the media after the meeting, Biman Basu said that the Left Front constituents criticised the UPA government for diverting the people's attention from the shoddy state of the nation's economy by harping endlessly on the 'urgent need' for fructifying the India-US nuclear deal. This deal actually amounted to selling the nation's interests by kow-towing before US imperialism and abandoning our independent foreign policy.  

The anti-people and anti-poor outlook of the central government was evident in its refusal to accord more priority to dealing with the rampant price rise issue. The reports that have recently appeared in the corporate media about the Congress asking its troops to be ready for a 'preponed' Lok Sabha polls, too, were noted by the senior LF leaders.  

The LF leadership also decided to ignore the bitterness that had developed among the LF during the rural polls. They declared that the LF would now function as one, with no dissensions or deviations.


The LF meeting expressed its condolences over the tragic death of 60 men, women, and children in the flash flood that occurred when the Jharkhand state government chose mindlessly to suddenly release a huge mass of water from its reservoir at Chandil from across the border, affecting the two Midnapores, and completely immersing the low-lying areas under a snap rising of the water level.

The flood in Bengal, Biman Basu said, was thus due more to this phenomenon than to the rainfall the southern districts of the state has experienced of late.  A coordination team is being set up in Bengal with Bihar and Jharkhand counterparts to monitor the release of stored water from across the border in Bihar and Jharkhand, suitably opening up appropriate channels of communication.  A total of over 30 lakh people have been undergoing inhuman sufferings because of the flash flood.

The state LF government (finance minister Dr Asim Dasgupta was present in the LF meeting) has taken up a drive to reach out relief material to the flood-affected people.  Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, along with health minister Dr Surjya Kanta Mishra, and Dr Dasgupta, has already visited the affected zones. The army has been pressed into service for relief and rescue work, especially the latter.   

The bunds and dams are being repaired even where minor fault lines have been detected under water pressure.  A total ad hoc amount of Rs 34.41 crore has been earmarked for relief operations.  Close to 7000 MT of rice, 3.6 lakh sheets of large and sturdy tarpaulins, and hundreds of thousands of medical kits have been reached to the areas just coming out of water.  Improved quality of seeds will be supplied as soon as the water recedes fully, Dr Dasgupta assured.