Holding the UPA government culpable for the food price rise, CPI(M) on Sunday said it would soon organise a country-wide agitation on the issue with other Left and secular opposition parties.
"The UPA government is responsible for much of this price rise. Party politburo has decided to conduct a widespread struggle against it.
"CPI(M) will discuss with Left and other secular opposition parties so that the call for a country-wide agitation can be given forthwith," party General Secretary Prakash Karat told a press conference after its two-day Politburo meeting.
Stating that the government had hiked the price of petrol twice over the last one month, he said deregulation of oil prices was fuelling inflation which, in turn, would also raise the prices of food.
At a time when it was known the adverse weather would affect onion crop, the government incentivised its export by reducing the minimum export price by around USD 200 per quintal, Karat said.
"This accentuated the shortage of onion while leading to huge profits for big trading companies. Subsequently, it reduced import duty to zero per cent and prevented government organisations like the State Trading Corporation from importing onions, once again giving huge profits to private traders," he said.
Karat said the government was also refusing to curb speculation in food commodities by prohibiting forward trading in them and it was unwilling to universalise PDS and provide essential commodities through the system at reasonable prices.
When asked to comment on UPA constituent Trinamool Congress's appeal to the Centre to roll back the petrol price hike and control the price of essentials, he said, "the price hike is a collective responsibility. Trinamool Congress will have to explain to the people how it is part of the government whose polices have brought untold suffering to the people."