UDF calls for general strike on Feb 9

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 31 (UNI) The Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) today called for a dawn-to-dusk general strike on February 19 to press their various demands, including steps to curb the price hike of essential commodities.

Talking to newspersons here, Front Convener P P Thankachan said the Opposition was forced to go for an agitation as the Marxist-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government was even reluctant to hold an all party meet to discuss the issues raised by them.

He said the Government should take immediate steps to restore the supply of 25 kg of rice to the BPL card holders at the rate of Rs three per kg and 35 kg of rice to the APL category at Rs eight per kg.

Similarly, the Government should give at least Rs 100 crore to the Civil Supplies Corporation for market intervention to arrest the price hike of essential commodities.

Their demands also included restoration of health insurance scheme for poor, pension scheme for elderly and scrapping the recent circular to curb the plan fund allocation to local bodies.

The UDF also demanded for a judicial inquiry into the land deal involving the public sector Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT).

All the aspects relating to the sale of 70 acres of land by the public sector unit to a Mumbai-based company for setting up of Rs 4,000 crore 'Cybercity' project in Kochi should be probed. It had no power to sell land to a private party for any purpose other than industrial.

Mr Thankachan said the Kerala Congress(Jacob), a party that left the UDF two years back to merge with the political outfit formed by veteran leader K Karunakaran, was readmitted into the UDF.


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