UNPA, Left leaders take to streets on price rise

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New Delhi, Apr 19 (UNI) Top leaders of the Left and UNPA along with hundreds of party cardres and supporters today couted arrest to pressurise the government to take immediate and stringent measure to rein in the abnormal rise in prices and a record rate of inflation hitting the common man.

Among those who courted arrest included Left leaders Prakash Karat of the CPI(M), A B Bardhan of CPI, UNPA chairperson Mulayam Singh Yadav, and convenor Chandrababu Naidu, INLD chief Om Praksah Chautala, Babu Lal Marandi of Jharkhand Vikas Party, Virandavan Goswami of AGP and Farooque of the National Conference.

The agitationists earlier took out a march from the Constitution Club to submit a memorandum of their demands to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

However, they courted arrest in front of the Rail Bhawan when the police prevenetd them from reaching the Prime Minister's office in the South Block.

They were taken to the Parliament police station, where the leaders again addressed their activists assailing the government policies.

The organisers claimed that at least 3000 to 4000 people courted arrest.

The protestors, who were released after an hour of detention, included CPI(M) Polit Buro Member Sitaram Yechuri, CPI National secretray D Raja, RSP leader Abani Roy, and SP MPs Jaya Bachan and Jaya Prada.

The leaders addressing the activists in the Parliament Street Police Station premises said it was now the time for a people's movement to force the Government to change its agenda.

In the memo which they submitted to the Prime Minister, they demanded a ban on future trading in all essential commodities and withdrawal of all Bills, which are aimed at allowing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in commodities market.

The UNPA and the Left asked the Government to universalise the Public Distribution System (PDS) for bringing immediate relief to the people including pulses and edible oil in PDS.

The memo also included the demand to roll back the oil price hike, change in petro-products taxation structure.

It said the essential commodities law should restore its original force for checking hoarders and black marketers from making use of the situation.

Earlier, at a seminar on inflation which was attended by some prominent economists, the UNPA and Left leaders, speakers after speaker refused to buy the Government explantion that the rise in prices in the country was part of the global price rise.

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