New Delhi: Left parties today decided to carry out a nationwide agitation from next week to protest the “exorbitant” rise in prices of essential items and petro products and demanded a universal public distribution system.
The parties expressed serious concern at “the crushing burden of price rise which is affecting all sections of the people” and charged the UPA government with “adding fuel to the fire by continuously increasing the prices of petrol, diesel, LPG and CNG”.
The decision for the agitation was taken at a meeting of top CPI(M), CPI, All India Forward Bloc and RSP leaders here.
Maintaining that there was “no respite in the upward spiral of prices of food items and essential commodities with food inflation reaching a record high of 20 per cent”, they asked all their state units to carry out the anti-price rise agitation between January 15-31.
In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the Left leaders said their agitation would focus on several demands, including stoppage of hikes in prices of petroleum products and restoration of the administrative price mechanism.
They would also demand steps to end hoarding and speculation of essential commodities and conducting of de- hoarding campaign in all states, besides opposing any linkage between Aadhar and the delivery of services and subsidies to
Apart from seeking universal public distribution system, the Left leaders also opposed privatisation of basic services and sought conduct audit of those private companies utilising public resources and delivering basic services.
The meeting was attended by veteran CPI leader A B Bardhan, general secretaries of CPI(M) Prakash Karat, CPI’s S Sudhakar Reddy and Forward Bloc’s Debabrata Biswas, senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and RSP leader Abani Roy.