Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member M.A. Baby has accused the United Democratic Front (UDF) government of attempting to roll back the market intervention measures made by the previous Left government to help the public tackle rising prices of essential goods.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member M.A. Baby has accused the United Democratic Front (UDF) government of attempting to roll back the market intervention measures made by the previous Left government to help the public tackle rising prices of essential goods.

Inaugurating a Secretariat picket organised by the Thiruvananthapuram district unit of the CPI(M) here on Thursday, Mr. Baby said the previous LDF government had spent over Rs.120 crore to enable agencies such as Supplyco and Consumerfed offer essential goods at affordable rates to the public and opened outlets selling goods at highly subsidised rates on special occasions and festivals, including Onam. However, the UDF had not made any such effort, and on the contrary was asking Supplyco to make do with the Rs.50 crore that was allocated for the entire department in the State budget.

This was despite a jump ranging from 60 per cent to 100 per cent in prices of all essential goods since last July and in effect, would do away with whatever good the LDF interventions had brought into the market.

He said the nationwide stir by the CPI(M) and Left parties against price rise and the hike in petrol prices had forced the Union government to cut down the prices by Rs.2 though it was after a Rs.7 hike. The agitation would continue and more protests would be staged on August 21 at the Secretariat and all the 14 district headquarters, Mr. Baby said, adding that the Left would oppose moves to remove the statutory rationing system and to bring a U.S.-model food coupon system.

The CPI (M) on Thursday also held similar protests at 14 centres across the district, including Attingal, Neyyattinkara and Nedumangad, CPI(M) district secretary Kadakampally Surendran said. The activists who staged the protest in front of the Secretariat were later arrested and removed by the police.

Keywords: CPI(M)UDFLeft government