CPM puts Centre on notice over price rise
Karat warns that more than 10 lakh volunteers will protest against the price rise outside govt offices across the country on May 15. Tanmay Chatterjee reports.kolkata Updated: Apr 29, 2008 23:46 IST
CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat warned on Tuesday that the Left and UNPA would “bring the (UPA) government to heel” unless it takes immediate action to bring down prices of essential commodities and sheds its “callous” approach to the problem.
Talking to mediapersons in Kolkata after the meeting of his party’s newly constituted politburo, Karat said more than 10 lakh volunteers would protest against the price rise outside government offices across the country on May 15.
The politburo met in Kolkata to enable CPI-M patriarch Jyoti Basu, now a permanent invitee to the body, to take part.
Basu criticised Sonia Gandhi for her statements on the failures of the Bengal government. “It seems she knows nothing about Bengal. There is no reason to attach any importance to what she said. She did not say a word on the price rise although it affects the whole nation. It is their job to control the price rise,” he told reporters.
Karat said, “So far the UPA government has failed to take any effective measures to check prices of essential commodities. The wholesale price index has gone up by 7.3 per cent. We are unable to see why the government is so keen to be solicitous of companies like Cargill that trade in foodgrains. We would like to tell this government that if it allows the Manmohan Singh policies to go on, then people will not tolerate it. The course of this Manmohan Singh government seems to be determined by speculation.”
Karat however did not spell out what exactly the Left and the UNPA would do if the government fails to curb the price rise.
Asked if withdrawing support was still on the agenda, he said, “Price rise has political implications. We are still hoping the government will discuss the issues we have raised and take effective measures. Otherwise, we will discuss other alternatives.”