The CPI (M) on Wednesday reiterated its demand for reduction in petrol and diesel prices, arguing that it should be done as the international oil price has gone down.
"When prices were increased, the Government had cited the reason that it had to be done as the international price of crude had gone up. It was a compulsion, the government had said. Now that international price has gone down, petrol and diesel prices should be cut by Rs 4 and Rs 2,’’ Party general secretary, Prakash Karat, said on Wednesday at the end of the two-day polit bureau (PB) meeting.
Karat added that the government is saying the oil companies are suffering from losses because of under-recoveries. "Those are notional losses. We have cited evidence (to the government) to show profits. Reducing prices will bring relief to the people,’’ he said.
The PB noted with concern the increasing incidence of violence in Bangladesh, which is going to polls in Janaury, and disapproved of US intervention in the country.
"(We are) particularly worried as it’s the run-up to the election. We have apprehensions that the elections might not be free and fair. We also disapprove of US intervention. US assistant secretary of state Richard Boucher visited Bangladesh last week, like an arbiter. Its no business of the US,’’ Karat said.
Karat said that a Party delegation met Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, on Wednesday on the issue of murder and rape of four members of a Dalit family in Khairlanji village in Maharashtra.
"The PB wanted a CBI enquiry into the incident. Now that the enquiry has been ordered, we want a speedy trial. The incident at Khairlanji did not happen suddenly. There were a series of incident (leading to it). We want the government to convene a meeting of home secretaries where guidelines for prompt intervention in such cases can be worked out,’’ Karat said.
He added that Supreme Court judgement on keeping out the creamy layer from reservation for scheduled tribes and scheduled castes missed a social reality. "Unlike the OBC category, there is no great differentiation in the SC/ST categories in terms of socio-economic status,’’ Karat said.
Among the other issues discussed in the PB meeting the UP election, opposing government’s to apparently privatise the postal service and the Rajasthan farmers’ movement.