Criticising both the Union and State Governments for the price rise and demanding rollback of the recent hike in water tariff and milk price, members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the CPI and All India Forward Bloc on Thursday staged a joint demonstration in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue here.

Although the protestors had planned to march up to the General Post Office (GPO) and picket it followed by a “jail bharo”, their plans were foiled when the police made pre-emptive arrests near Minsk Square.

As many as 210 members, including CPI(M) Polit Bureau member K. Varadarajan, State Secretary V.J.K. Nair, CPI State Secretary Siddanagouda Patil and State president of All India Forward Bloc G.R. Shivashankar, were arrested by the police and kept at Audugodi City Armed Reserve (CAR) Grounds. They were released in the evening.

CPI(M) Bangalore District Secretary K. Prakash alleged that the Government on the one hand was waiving tax and giving subsidies to the corporate sector and on the other passing the burden on the common man.

“They are mobilising money by increasing the prices of all essential commodities to ensure that the corporate sector is benefited.

“The CPI(M) and other like-minded parties will launch an intensified stir if the Government does not withdraw the hike in water tariff and milk prices,” he said.

The protestors also wanted the Government to provide 35 kg of rice at Rs. 2 a kg to all ration cardholders and also sites/houses to the homeless.

Power supply

Meanwhile, a large number of students, under the flagship of All India Democratic Students' Organisation (AIDSO) and All India Democratic Youth Organisation (AIDYO), protested against erratic power supply.

AIDYO Secretary K. Vijay said that the State Government has started to cut power supply after the elections to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

He saw a conspiracy in the power crisis as a way of enabling private producers to get an entry into the sector.

AIDSO vice-president T.C. Rama accused the State Government of having lopsided priorities and wondered how power was being supplied for the Indian Premier League matches and for various malls in the city.

Keywords: Political struggle

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