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Left Parties serve notice to Govt on oil price hike

The Left parties are also likely to clash with the BJP when they raise the issue of the recent communal riots in Vadodara.

india Updated: May 10, 2006 17:14 IST

The Left parties on Wednesday gave notice to the UPA government on the proposed petroleum price hike, privatisation of airports and BALCO and violation of labour laws in some states saying it was not following the tenets of the Common Minimum Programme.

The parliamentary units of the four parties, supporting the government from outside, decided to raise these and other issues during the Parliament session with CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta attacking Congress for "violating all principles of a multi-party government" by not consulting its allies and supporters even on crucial policy issues.

Listing out the issues at a meeting in New Delhi, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters that the Left would also raise the agrarian crisis and related problem of farmers' suicides, food security, increasing public investment in the agriculture sector and raising access of farmers to institutional credit.

The large-scale displacement of tribals from their lands not just due to building of dams but also because of privatisation of mines would also be taken up for debate, he said adding under the 5th Schedule of the Constitution, the character of these lands cannot be altered without Presidential approval.

"No such approval is being taken and tribals are being displaced without notice", he said.

The rising prices of essential commodities as well as those of petroleum products would also be raised, Yechury said. "We have given alternatives of slashing excise and import duties on oil imports. We know the huge deficit (due to hike in global oil prices) needs to be bridged. But imposing the entire burden on the people is not the only way to bridge this gap", he said.

The Left parties are also likely to clash with the BJP when they raise the issue of the recent communal riots in Vadodara.

Yechury and Dasgupta, who were accompanied by Abani Roy (RSP) and Debabrata Biswas (Forward Bloc), hit out at the BJP for their "disruptive" role in the last session and their plans for the same this time also.

"We condemn their disruptive role in the last session when they tried to stall proceedings. They are planning to do the same thing again", the CPI leader said adding there are only about ten working days in the current session.

The Left leaders said they would also seek debates on a National Mineral Policy, growing incidence of female foeticide, foreign policy especially on Palestine and the "surreptitious abrogation" of labour laws particularly in the northern states of Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan.

Describing UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi's letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with certain countries as "satisfying", Yechury said a major crisis was being faced by farmers producing cash crops, especially those in Kerala involved in farming of coffee, rubber, tea and pepper, besides the choir industry.

"Removal of restrictions through these FTAs will further aggravate the already adverse situation," he said.

Dasgupta said the UPA government's commitments, even in Parliament, to bring the Women's Reservation Bill and legislation on unorganised labour had not yet been fulfilled.

First Published: May 10, 2006 17:12 IST