Activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) staged a dharna in front of the Civil Supplies Office in Gandhinagar demanding issuing of white ration cards to all eligible families.

Addressing the activists, CPI (M) city secretary R. Raghu said that the UPA government that was at the helm of affairs at the Centre had failed to distribute essential commodities to the poor. But the UPA leaders were talking about ‘food security' only to make fools of themselves. “Every leader, from Delhi to gully (street), is talking about food security. What can be more ridiculous than this,” Mr. Raghu asked.

Ration cards belonging to eligible families were being cancelled under the pretext of weeding out bogus ones. The Central government was reluctant to spend Rs. 25,000 crore to extend subsidy to the poor, but showed tremendous eagerness to exempt the rich from paying Rs. 5 lakh crore of tax, Mr. Raghu said.

CPI (M) State committee member and the party floor leader in the VMC general body Ch. Babu Rao said that over one year had elapsed since elections, before which the ruling Congress made several promises but not one had been fulfilled until now.

He said that the people who were eligible to have a ration card were going from pillar to post and their chappals were getting worn out, but they were unable to get the cards. It was not just the officials, but Ministers and MLAs too should be prepared to face very serious consequences.

Leaders of the Congress that were in the thick of group politics were more interested in finding out if Chief Minister K. Rosaiah would be able to keep his post.

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