CPI regrets supporting UPA government

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New Delhi, Apr 18: A day after questioning the existence of the UPA government on the price rise issue, the CPI today stepped up its vitriol, saying the Left's experiment of supporting the Congress-led coalition has failed.

''The Left's supporting a bourgeois government to achieve the goal of common minimum programme has failed,'' CPI eminent parliamentarian Gurudas Dasgupta said at a news conference here. In the Lok Sabha yesterday, he said, ''The government does not exist'' and charged it with having shamefully surrendered to delinquent market forces on the issue of prices of essential commodities.

Stepping up the Left's tirade on the price rise, Mr Dasgupta charged the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and the Agriculture Minister with pushing the country towards speculative trade in commodities also after having indulged in the exercise in the foreign exchange and equity markets.

The CPI warned of a widening chasm between the government and the Left if the government did not act firmly to check the price spiral.

Threatening mass action, Mr Dasgupta said: ''They would be left with no option but to take to the streets,'' as response of the government by Mr P Chidamambaram and Mr Sharad Pawar in the Lok Sabha on the issue appeared to be ''casual.'' ''We have already held 500 demonstrations across the country today,'' CPI leader D Raja said, adding trade unions will hold a meeting here on May 13 to chalk out a programme of a nationwide stir on the issue.

Rejecting the government's claim on ''imported inflation'', he said it amounted to side-tracking the issue and also exhibited a lack of urgency to firmly deal with the issue which will play ''havoc with lives of common man in the country.'' Reiterating the demand for a ban on futures trading in all essential commodities, Mr Dasgupta alleged that banks had given a credit of a whopping Rs 46,000 crore to traders for forward trading.

On the other hand, banks' credit to the agri sector was just 11 per cent and irrigation sector, too, has suffered from government's neglect. Similarly, public investment in agriculture had also declined.

The CPI floor leader in Lok Sabha said thin presence of the Congress and BJP members in the House only proved their callousness towards the plight of the common man hit hard by price rise.


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