CPI(M) to step up agitation against price rise of essentials

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Kolkata, Apr 29(UNI) The CPI(M) will intensify its agitation against price rise with a call for mass picketing in front of all Central Government offices on May 15.

Addressing the media after the party's Polit Bureau meeting, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakas Karat today said about one million people would participate in the picketing in all states, except West Bengal and Karnataka, where polls were being held.

'' We are not at all happy with the way the Centre is dealing it (price rise). We hope the Centre will take steps, otherwise we will decide what our position will be, '' Mr Karat remarked when asked about the poltical implications of the issue.

'' As far as we are concerned, it is a serious issue and the Government can't be callous on it, '' he added.

Apart from Left parties, the CPI(M) would like some other parties to join the agitation although he was evasive on whether he was also referring to the BJP which had called for a ''Bharat Bandh'' on price rise.

The Polit Bureau came down heavily on the Government for its refusal to curb private companies buying foodgrains and prohibiting forward trading in 25 agriculture commodities, alleging that it revealed the bias of the Government towards big business.

The targeted public distribution system should be replaced by an universal PDS.

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