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Left stages walkout in Assembly on price rise

Left parties stages a walkout in the state assembly, charging the Centre with failing to curb the spiralling price-rise in the country.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Chennai
UPDATED ON APR 17, 2008 06:06 PM IST

Charging the Centre with failing to curb the spiralling price-rise in the country, Left parties on thursday staged a walkout in the state assembly.However, the Congress shot back at the Communists saying it was an "excuse for them to go out of the UPA."Soon after Question Hour, V Sivapunniyam of the CPI and his party MLAs, all of them sporting red 'thundu,' (towel) on their shoulders walked out of the Assembly "condemning the Centre" for failing to control inflation and price-rise.He also referred to his party's state-wide against price rise on thursday.

The CPI-M followed suit, with their party member C Govindasamy criticising the increase in prices of essential commodities like pulses and cereals before the walkout.

The walkout by left parties comes close on the heels of their protest against rising prices at Parliament House on Tuesday.The AIADMK members also later staged a walkout on the price rise issue.

However, senior Congress leader D Sudarshanam, who described the walkout as "back-stabbing", said the Left parties, after supporting the Congress-led UPA for four years, were resorting to such activities "keeping in mind the (Parliamentary) elections," which are due next year.

"This is an election stunt. They want an excuse to go out of the UPA and are therefore staging such walkout," he said."The inflation in India is only 7.4 per cent while it is 17.6 per cent in China. Can the Left parties give an explanation," Sudarshanam asked.

The increase in crude oil prices, from USD 44 a barrel in 2004 when UPA came to power, to USD 115 a barrel today, was one of the reasons propelling inflation, he said.

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