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Left parties meet tomorrow on price rise issue

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Jul 3: The Left parties will hold a joint meeting here tomorrow to finalise the date for their countrywide agitation against increase in fuel price, disinvestment of three profit-making PSUs and the Centre's failure to contain price rise.

The meeting, to be attended by CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan, Forward Bloc leader D Biswas and RSP leader Abani Roy, is also expected to discuss about the continuance of their support to the Manmohan Singh government, Left sources said today.

According to the sources, the Left leaders are ''greatly upset'' with the growing isolation of the government from the common people, especially in the backdrop of the spiralling prices of essential commodities and the hike in petrol and diesel prices despite their staunch opposition.

''Prices of essential commodities are skyrocketing. This is one single issue that can ultimately destroy the credibility of the government,'' said Mr Bardhan.

The Left parties are also peeved with the government's ''inaction'' on the nine-page note to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi last month suggesting measures to deal with the price rise.

Among the suggested steps were stopping of forward trading and extending bank credit to the wholesale dealers, launching of de-hoarding drive under the Essential Commodities Act and strengthening of the PDS and speeding up of the arrival of vegetables at mandis besides ensuring the remunerative prices of agricultural products.

CPM Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Mohammad Salim said the Left support was based on the Common Minimum Programme of the UPA government.''The assessment is a continuous process,'' he added.

''If the trend continues, the Left has to review the basis of its support... In tomorrow's meeting, we can think about deciding on an issue-based support,'' added CPI National Secretary Shamim Faizi.

The Left is backing the indefinite strike by employees of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation in Tamil Nadu from tomorrow and the strike in National Minerals Development Corporation on Friday.

''These agitations will further intensify,'' said Mr Bardhan.

UNI

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