People's Democracy

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


No. 27

July 08, 2012





Agitation Against Price Rise,

For Food Security


From Our Special Correspondent in Kolkata


FOOD prices, particularly vegetables, have skyrocketed in West Bengal in an unprecedented manner. Daily items of consumption have become costlier even by 200 per cent or more within few days. The paradox of the situation is that on the one hand the farmers are not getting fair prices while potatoes to chilies are being sold in open market at exorbitant prices. The state government has failed to even intervene in the situation. They even refused to admit the situation. Left Front legislators time and again raised the issue in the assembly, but they were denied a discussion. They were forced to walk out on consecutive days. Left Front’s appeal to convene an all party meet was also refused.


Denial turned into state chief minister’s favourite refrain – ‘I did not know’. The much hyped task force set up by the state government last year proved to be a non-starter, as they failed to produce even a report. Apprehending the rising discontent, the state government announced further formation of task forces.


In this backdrop, the Left Front has decided to launch agitation throughout the state. It started from July 4 and would continue up to July 17. The Left Front will conduct door-to-door campaign explaining the reasons of price rise and the role of central and state governments. Block level sit-in and demonstration will be held from July 11-15. On July 16, there will be law-breaking in all district towns. State-level civil disobedience will be held on July 17 in Kolkata and Siliguri. 


The movement to defend food security will be conducted in the state from July 25 to August 31. Biman Basu, Left Front chairman said that food security is seriously threatened in the whole country. The proposed food security bill aims to perpetuate the targeting of people into priority BPL and APL, thus automatically discriminating against a large population. 


Meanwhile, four Left peasant organisations have launched agitation on ten-point demands that included scrapping of divisions between poor people, for universal public distribution, fair prices for farmers, work for agricultural workers etc. In the first phase, campaign will be conducted till July 14. There will be a signature campaign from July 15 to August 30. There will be deputation at sub divisional level from September 18-25.