Opening a new front against Congress-led governments in the state and at the Centre ahead of Lok Sabha polls, CPI(M) on Wednesday launched an indefinite protest across Kerala over hike in prices of LPG and essential goods.

Thousands of party cadres, sympathisers, activists of feeder outfits, including women and youth wings, lined up in 1,400 places raising slogans against the ruling UPA at the Centre and UDF in the state.

At each venue, a few selected local functionaries are observing fast.

Launching the agitation in Kochi, CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said these governments had done nothing to rein in prices since they lacked commitment to the people.

He said frequent hike in LPG prices formed part of a move to phase out subsidy for domestic consumers and thereby give free hand to big corporates that had stake in the petroleum sector.

CPI(M) politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan addressed the protesters in Thiruvanathapuram and in other centres the agitation was kicked off by the party’s state and district functionaries.

Changing track, the CPI(M) and the LDF coalition last month decided to shift focus from the solar scam to issues like price rise to take on the Congress and its allies.

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