The country has failed to achieve “freedom from hunger,” though it had attained “political freedom,” West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said here on Monday.

Mr. Bhattacharjee was addressing a mammoth rally here, organised by the Left Front to mark the 50th anniversary of the “Food Movement” in the State.

The Chief Minister slammed the Congress-led government at the Centre for its “failure” to rein in the spiralling prices of essential commodities.

He said, “Through its advertisement messages, the Congress claims that the United Progressive Alliance government is an ‘aam admi ka sarkar.’ But going by its own record, 30 crore people in the country are still going hungry. What sort of an ‘aam admi ka sarkar’ is it then?”

He accused the Centre of allowing private companies to engage in forward trading in essential commodities, thus leading to increase in prices, ignoring the “repeated warnings” by Left parties.

“The Congress made tall claims of ushering in the Green Revolution in the country. But did that ensure enough food for the masses? It did not… why is the food production going down? I would like the Congress-led government to take lessons from the past.”

On the Trinamool Congress’ allegation that the State government was responsible for the price rise, he pointed out that the prices of foodgrains in the city was much cheaper than in Delhi and Mumbai.

Terming the Trinamool Congress an “evil power,” he alleged that the Opposition in the State did not speak against the violent activities of the Maoists because of their close links.

“The Opposition is delighted at the violence and terror spread by the Maoists because the rebels are doing what they themselves wanted to achieve… The Maoists are creating havoc in the Paschim Mednipur district, while the Trinamool Congress is doing the same at Nandigram and Khejuri in the Purbo Medinipur district.”

Left Front Committee chairman Biman Bose blamed the Centre for the current food crisis in the country.

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