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Left to UPA: Don't forget common man

The four-party Left Front has submitted a detailed note, which is apparently a bleak appraisal of Govt's performance.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2006 15:26 IST

Tensions between the Left parties and the Congress-led government may touch an all time high at the coordination committee meeting on Thursday when the communists issue a stern reminder that the common minimum programme (CMP) should be adhered to "strictly".

After terming the Manmohan Singh government a failure, the Left parties that back him are ready with their suggestions to make his rule "common man-friendly".

At the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-Left coordination committee meeting on Thursday evening, leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front will meet Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and senior cabinet ministers to air their grievances about the policies of the government.

The four-party Left Front has submitted a detailed note, which is apparently a bleak appraisal of the government's performance.

It is believed to have criticised the government for its failure to protect the interests of the common man, uphold India's traditional foreign policy and maintain communal harmony.

In the nine-page note, delivered to the prime minister on Wednesday, the Left Front has reportedly alleged that the government had distanced itself from the promises in the CMP, the agenda for governance for the coalition.

The Left Front shores up the multi-party UPA government.

At Thursday's meeting, leaders of the CPI-M, the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and the Forward Bloc are expected to ask the government to introduce capital gains tax, which they say will check market instability, increase corporate tax and other taxes for the rich.

They will also reiterate their stance against disinvesting the profit making public sector units (PSUs) and foreign direct investment in the retail sector.

"We are of the view that the government has not done anything to save the PSUs that are running into losses and that the UPA government's pace in introducing reforms is too fast. The acceleration has to come down," said a Left leader.

The Left, which held a nation-wide protest on Tuesday against the recent fuel price hike, is also likely to repeat their suggestion to cut excise and customs duty on crude oil imports.

The government last week increased the prices of petrol by Rs.4 per litre and of diesel by Rs.2 per litre to cut the losses of state-run oil marketing companies that have been hit by soaring global crude prices.

The Left maintains that the price hike could have been avoided if the government had implemented the alternatives suggested by them.

Besides, sources said, Left leaders would also reiterate their criticism on Manmohan Singh's foreign policy, which they believe tilts towards the US.