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CPI asks PM to appoint new Labour minister

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, July 23: The CPI today demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appoint a new Labour Minister ''who could devote time to solve the labour's problems'' as incumbent K Chandrashekhar Rao had turned his ministry into a ''totally non- functioning department.''

''Let there be a new Labour Minister who has the time to look into the problems of the workforce,'' CPI floor leader in the Lok Sabha Gurudas Dasgupta said, adding that the minister was more busy in touring his home state Andhra Pradesh where he was campaigning for a separate Telangana state.

Addressing a press conference on the eve of the Monsoon session of Parliament, Mr Dasgupta, who is also the general secretary of the AITUC, suggested that Mr Rao could be made a "Minister without Portfolio.''

Coming down heavily on the Manmohan Singh government for its attempts to usher in flexible labour regime to benefit corporates and the MNCs, the CPI leader said the labour laws were being violated and the police utilised to curb trade unions. ''Some of the neigbouring states of Delhi have almost become police states.'' he charged.

''While the workers, more so those in the urorganised sector, are under attack, underpaid and treated amost as slaves, the Labour minister remains totally non-functional and even the PM has no time for trade unions,'' the veteran CPI leader said.

CPI Deputy Floor Leader in the Lok Sabha C K Chandrapan and party's Chief Whip Ajay Chakravorty were also present at the press conference.


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