Strike against hike in bus fares successful, claims CPM

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Shimla, Mar 26 (UNI) The CPM has claimed that its one-day strike in Himachal Pradesh against 25 per cent hike in bus fares was a complete success with party activists holdings demonstrations and public rallies at various parts of the state today.

''Party activists held demonstrations and public meetings across the state against the BJP Government's decision to hike by 25 per cent the fare of Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses,'' party's state secretary Rakesh Singha told UNI here.

He claimed that the strike was a complete success in various parts of the state with the common man joining the party activists against the government's decision.

The sufferings of the common man have almost doubled with the government's decision to increase bus fares following phenomenal increase in the prices of essential commodities during the last few years, he said.

Mr Singha said the increase was all the more painful since the BJP Government had fought the last assembly elections on the single issue of price rise, which was set to go out of control now with the hike in bus fares, he added.

Accusing both the Congress and the BJP of pursuing ruinous neo-liberal economic policies, Mr Singha said the then NDA Government's policy of introducing targetted public distribution system (TPDS), as against universal public distribution system, was being continued by the present UPA Government.

Besides, the central government should reduce cess and other taxes on petroleum products to lower its costs, besides taking strict action against black marketers and hoarders who were also responsible for the rise in the prices of food items, the CPM leader added.

Demanding the state government to roll back its decision of 25 per cent hike in bus fares and increase the food subsidy at its original of Rs 100 crore as against a provision of Rs 90 crore this year, he said the party would resort to direct action if the government did not accede to their demands.

UNI AS JN MMS1826

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