CPI to work for ''political alternative''

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Vijayawada, Apr 8 (UNI) The Communist Party of India (CPI) Andhra Pradesh unit Secretary K Narayana today said the party would work towards a ''political alternative'' with like-minded secular parties, alleging that the people of the state were fed up with both the present Congress government and the earlier TDP.

Addressing a press conference here, he said discussions with the political parties other than Congress, TDP and BJP were in progress to launch the ''alternative'' front in the state.

Mr Narayana, who is also the national executive member said the people of the state wanted a new political atmosphere and expressed confidence that they would support it.

Replying to a question, he said the party would not ally with the ''communal'' BJP and take into its fold only those parties which have secular ideologies.

On the TDP politbureau's decision to constitute a five-member committee to study the Telangana sentiment, Mr Narayana said the people of Andhra Pradesh were divided on the issue of a unified state as there was a strong sentiment from the people of Telangana for a separate state.

The Centre had announced that it would take an ''appropriate decision at an appropriate time'' on the Telangana issue and even constituted a sub-committee headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, he said, and asked the Congress to spell out why it was not announcing its stand on the Telangana issue.

On the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, he said the CPI would launch a two-day state wide-agitation from April 17, during which the party cadre and leaders would lay siege to the mandal offices in all districts of the state.

The CPI, CPI(M), TDP, Forward Block and RSP state committees have decided to hold dharnas in the state on April 21 on the price rise issue, he said.

Blaming the Centre and state Governments for their total failure to control the prices of essential commodities, Mr Naryana said the Essential Commodities Act, introduced by the then NDA Government in 2002, should be amended so that restrictions could be applied on the traders who were illegally hoarding the essential commodities.

He said the party would launch the 'bhooporatam' (land struggle) again in the state after June for distribution of lands to the poor.

He also demanded the the state Government abolish the 560 acres of land lease allotted to Snow White salt company at Chinaganjam in Prakasam district.

The party would continue its agitation until the state government constituted a Land Commission in the state, he added.

UNI CS GKT RR HT1807

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