Left activists court arrest against price rise

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New Delhi, Apr 8 (ANI): Left party activists on Thursday staged a massive demonstration here as a part of their nation-wide 'jail bharo' agitation in protest against the government's failure to check the rising prices of essential commodities.

Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Prakash Karat, CPI's A B Bardhan and Forward Bloc leader Debabrata Biswas led the demonstration near Parliament House.

Shouting slogans against the government, the activists also demanded the strengthening of the public distribution system, implementation of land reform schemes and more employment opportunities.

The Congress Party is facing flak from the opposition over the price rise of essential commodities.

The wholesale price index rose 7.3 percent in December from a year earlier, its highest since November 2008, and accelerated from a 4.8 percent gain in November.

The rise was driven by near 20 percent jump in food prices, which rose on weak monsoon rains and flooding in parts of the country, but inflation in manufacturing products picked up to 5.2 percent from four percent in November, a sign that inflationary pressures were spreading to other sectors of the economy.

Sugar, in particular, has been a problem, with Congress Party caught in the middle of competing demands from consumers who want lower prices while cane farmers seek higher prices for their produce.

The supply situation deteriorated further in recent months when Uttar Pradesh, seeking to help cane farmers, banned processing raw sugar, jamming 750,000 tonnes of raw sugar at ports. (ANI)

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