CPI calls nationwide strike on Aug 20 to protest price rise

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Patna, May 16 (UNI) CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan today announced that his party had given a call for nationwide general strike on August 20 to protest the 'failure' of the UPA government in checking the prices of essential commodities.

The CPI has also called a Bihar bandh the same day to protest the 'failure' of the Nitish Kumar government in fulfilling the aspirations of the people.

Mr Bardhan told reporters here that despite constant pressure being maintained by his party on the UPA government to check rising prices of essentials, the Manmohan Singh government 'failed' to take concrete measures, causing hardships to the people.

''We have completed the month long nationwide agitation (April 17-May 15) as procession, dharnas and protest march were successfully organised to raise the voice against the rising prices of essentials,'' he said. On June 6 similar programmes would be organised across the country, including state capitals and district headquarters, to vent anger against the price rise, he added.

Making a distinction with agitational programmes of other parties and the Left, Mr Bardhan said, ''We have also enumerated the steps required to be taken by the Centre to check the prices, which was done by the other parties.'' He added that withrawal of forward trading from 25 commodities was one of the main demands in this regard.

Asked about the failure of the Left to bring pressure on the UPA government to formulate people-friendly policies, he said, ''All was good during first two-and-half years of the Manmohan Singh government. But differences cropped up when the Centre opted to implement policies which were responsible for agonies of the masses.

''Withdrawal of the support from the UPA government is not a solution to the present problems,'' he affirmed.

Referring to performance of the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar, Mr Bardhan said it had failed to deliver on the ground level and added that the NDA government was only engaged in making ''tall'' announcement without being sincere about its implementation.

General Secretary of All India Trade Union Congress(AITUC) Gurudas Dasgupta, who was also present, said all major trade unions across the country had given their consent to support the nationwide general strike on August 20.


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