Left threatens strike on price rise

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New Delhi, Mar 13 (UNI) The CPI today asked Left trade unions to chalk out an effective programme for protest, including going on nationwide strike, against the rise in prices of essential commodities which were hitting hard the common man.

''The price of every single essential commodity has gone up after the presentation of General Budget in Parliament on February 29'', party floor leader in Lok Sabha Gurudas Dasgupta said at a media conference here.

The veteran parliamentarian, flanked by party senior leaders S Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja, said inflation was a direct fall-out of the dose of privatisation and liberalisation pursued by the UPA government.

Another factor that led to the price rise was the government decision to reduce PDS quota of essential commodities to the states, ignoring the fact that public district system has always been a stabilising factor on the price front. ''In a way, the government has given a signal to hoarders and black marketeers to hike prices," Mr Dasgupta said.

On the ongoing stir by airport employees, he lamented that the government had evoked ESMA when they had not even gone on strike but only launched a ''non-cooperation" movement.

He urged the government to talk to the employees' unions or it would tantamount to the return of hard days of Emergency.

On government's decision to operationalise two new airports at Bangalore and Hyderabad, the communist leader said closure of existing airports was a colossal waste of public money. The closure, he added, would also cause hardship to people and was being done to benefit private companies.

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