The CPI(M) on Sunday attacked the government for its “stubborn refusal” to ban futures trading in essential items and take other steps to control rising prices, saying it would organise a massive all-India rally on the issue during the Budget session of Parliament.

“The stubborn refusal of the Central Government to change its food policies has been highlighted by the refusal to ban future trading in wheat. It will be recalled that the earlier ban on futures in wheat was stealthily removed just before the new government was sworn in,” the party Polit Bureau said in a statement here.

The issue came up for discussion at the two-day meet of the Polit Bureau, which is to be followed by a Central Committee meeting in Kolkata late January.

The party also criticised the government for its “refusal” to increase the number of families under the BPL (Below Poverty Line) category.

On the foreign policy front, the CPI(M) asked the government to demand withdrawal of U.S.-NATO forces from Afghanistan and become part of a “regional initiative” comprising Russia, Iran, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to address the Afghan problem.

“It is deplorable that the UPA government supports the continuance of the U.S.-NATO occupation of Afghanistan. By the AfPak strategy, the U.S. is attempting to draw India into its Afghanistan strategy for serving its geo-political interests,” it said.

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