People's Democracy

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


No. 07

February 13, 2011

 Protest Against Rising Prices & Corruption


HUNDREDS of activists of nine political parties- CPI(M), CPI, RSP, Forward Bloc, TDP, AIADMK, JD(S), RLD, BJD, participated in a dharna at Parliament street on February 9 to protest against the rising prices and unprecedented growth in corruption. The protesters demanded universal public distribution system, cheap ration to people, check on black marketing and hoarding and end to forward trade in grains. They demanded regulation of price in the petrol, diesel and other essential commodities


The agitators demanded impartial investigations into various scams and loot of the public funds and punishment to guilty. They asked the government to bring back the money from various international banks deposited stealthily. The prominent leaders among those who participated in dharna and addressed the meeting included Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M), A B Bardhan, CPI, H D Devegowda, former prime minister and president of JD(S), Chandrababu Naidu, TDP, Ajit Singh, Rashtriya Lok Dal, Debrata Biswas, AIFB, Aboni Roy, RSP and others.


The speakers reiterated their demand for JPC to probe 2G spectrum case. They wanted logical conclusion of investigations to the various scams for bringing the guilty to book and restoring the money for people’s good.


Prakash Karat while addressing the dharna said the activists of all the nine parties organised demonstrations, dharna, picketing, etc in all parts of the country in last one week against the rising prices and have demanded of the central government to take immediate steps to control the prices. However, the UPA government has not taken any steps and failed to control the prices.

The prime minister had said last year that the prices will fall by October, and then he said that it will end in December. Now he says that prices and inflation will fall in next five months. He has no taken no steps. It appears that the prime minister was consulting some astrologer to predict fall in prices. 

Prices of all commodities including wheat, rice, vegetables, edible oil, petrol, etc have risen.  The policies of the government are responsible for this situation. The government has increased the prices of petrol seven times since June last year. The petrol prices have risen more than Rs 10 per litre in this period. On the one hand they raise the prices of petrol; on the other they claim that they would control prices of all commodities. It is impossible. The government is now contemplating raising diesel prices. While we gave several proposals to control prices, the government has allowed the companies, big business, stock marketers, hoarders and futures traders to make profits and earn money. The Left parties had demanded ban on futures trading in food items but the government did not take steps. On the one hand, the farmers are not getting adequate prices for their crops, on the other, people of the country are facing skyrocketing prices.


The government should have strengthened the public distribution system and sold wheat, rice, sugar, edible oil and other essential commodities through PDS. But the government did not do that, rather it has weakened PDS. It is a matter of shame that the government ministers claim that the prices were rising because the income of people have increased and consumption has gone up. Montek Singh Ahluwalia says that prices were rising because people have become prosperous and have more money. Two and a half lakh farmers have committed suicide in the country. Workers of unorganised sector do not have any food security. Therefore we have to fight against the rising prices and government policies.  The peasantry and working class have to be united for this purpose. Till such time, the government gives remunerative prices for agricultural produce to the peasants and provide them seed, fertiliser, electricity and water at subsidised rates, agricultural produce cannot increase. By increasing it, we can control prices.

We are warning the government against the loot of the people, huge loot by the big companies and corruption. The movement against price rise and corruption has to go on. Nine parties have come together, more like minded parties will join in this movement. We shall collectively raise the issue of price rise and corruption in the coming  budget session of parliament, said Prakash Karat.