The CPI(M) on Sunday set April 15 as the deadline for the UPA government to initiate steps to bring down prices of essential commodities and threatened to launch nationwide agitation along with like-minded parties, if the Centre fails to do so.
"After April 15, we will launch a nationwide agitation on price rise in consultation with other parties which would want to join us on the issue," Politburo member Sitaram Yechury told reporters in Coimbatore, adding the 19th Party Congress had unanimously adopted a resolution to this effect.
He said the government should immediately take steps like banning futures trading in 25 agricultural items, universalising public distribution system, restoring the cuts in foodgrain allocations to states under the PDS, including 15 essential items and taking stringent action against hoarders.
Yechury also demanded cut in customs and excise duties on oil and reducing the retail prices of petrol and diesel.
"These demands will be conveyed to the government and we hope it will consider them," he said.
The resolution was passed unanimously after it was moved by Left Front Chairman Biman Basu and seconded by Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.
He said the roadmap for the agitation would be prepared after talks with other parties including the Samajwadi Party.
"There are a large number of parties, which are not Left, but agree with us on several issues. Our agenda cuts across the Left agenda," he said.