Inflation agitation begins Feb 3

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) along with other opposition parties jointly declared to conduct a week long agitation against price rise from February 3 to 9, on Thursday.

This decision was taken after a meeting with the parties including the Communist Party of India (CPI), Biju Janta Dal (BJD), All India Forward Block (AIFB), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).

They said there will be picketing of central government offices, protest demonstrations, dharnas and rallies and on February 9 there will be a mass dharna which will be attended by thousands of people at New Delhi in which the main leaders of all the parties will participate.

The parties blamed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of false assurances and giving differing and contradictory statements regarding price rise and how to tackle it.

The government has not taken any effective measures to curb price rise, and on the contrary, its policies have contributed to inflation, they said.

The opposition parties asserted that the price rise of food items have not benefited the farmers and Central Government has not extended adequate assistance to meet the losses of farmers due to unseasonal rains.

They condemned that the Manmohan Singh government wants to allow foreign companies in the multibrand retail trade which means loss of livelihood for lakhs of shopkeepers and traders.

The parties protesting against the price hike of commodities demanded certain immediate steps to be followed by the central government.

Prohibition of forward trading in food and essential items, rolling back the budgetary hikes on petroleum products, rationalizing the structure on petroleum products and forbidding foreign capital in retail trade, were among the suggested steps.