People's Democracy

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


No. 11

March 14, 2010



Left Parties, TDP Protest Petro Hike


STATEWIDE protests and picketings were organised by the CPI(M), CPI and Telugu Desam parties on March 6 against the increase of prices of petroleum products by the UPA government in the latest budget. Top leaders of these parties, B V Raghavulu, K Narayana and N Chandrababu Naidu  along with scores of their activists were arrested in Hyderabad while they tried to hold a march towards the Andhra Pradesh assembly protesting the hike, which came on top of unprecedented rise in prices of essential commodities.


Thousands of Left and TDP workers converged at Indira Park to participate in the 'Maha Dharna' demanding rollback of hike in petrol and diesel prices. Addressing the dharna, the leaders attacked the UPA government for being so insensitive to the sufferings of aam admi and condemned the convoluted arguments being given to justify the hike in petro prices.  CPI(M) state secretary B V Raghavulu termed the government's citing of international factors as outright lies intended to dupe the people. Asking whether floods, drought did not occur in the past, he criticised both the central and state governments of resorting to lame excuses in order to shield themselves from growing anger of people. The CPI(M) leader attacked the prime minister for his strange argument that unemployment would increase if inflation is brought down. �Let the prime minister say clearly that  there is no way by which the prices can be brought down and employment increased�, he challenged. Asserting that the faulty policies of both the governments are the main reason for the price rise, Raghavulu called upon the people to enthusiastically participate in the struggle to force the governments to change their policies.


CPI state secretary K Narayana charged the state government of shielding the smugglers and black marketeers and thus encouraging the price rise. He felt the hike in price of diesel would have a cascading effect on prices of essential commodities, which are already at a peak. �Both Pranab Mukherjee at the centre and Rosaiah at the state were in effect picking the pockets of aam admi through such a hike.


TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu felt that the enthusiastic participation in huge numbers in the dharna is an inkling of the anger among people against repeated hikes in prices of petroleum products by the UPA government.  He deplored prime minister Manmohan Singh's statement that the hike in petroleum prices will not be rolled back. A handful of lawyers supporting separate Telangana state tried to disrupt the speech of Chandrababu Naidu leading to a mild clash between the lawyers and TDP workers. The police had to intervene and dispersed the clashing groups.


Earlier, in the day TDP, CPI and CPI (M) legislators came to the assembly with pushcarts "selling" essential food items and vegetables passing from Tank Bund and Secretariat. They also opened 'Manmohan Kirana store' near the Ambedkar statue on the Tank Bund road.


The three parties jointly held such protest programmes in all cities and towns of the state on the same day protesting the hike in prices of petro products by the UPA government.  (INN)