The CPI(M) State unit has decided to launch an indefinite fast by its activists at 1,400 centres across the State from January 15 to protest against the sharp increase in LPG price and mandatory Aadhaar linkage for availing cooking gas subsidy.

Party State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan told a news conference here on Monday that the party would organise the fast, which intended to mobilise the people in large numbers against the stand of the Central and State governments on the cooking gas price and subsidy issues, at least in 10 centres in each Assembly constituency.

Mr. Vijayan said Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily’s statement that there was no question of the Centre increasing the number of subsidised cylinders to 12 and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s stand that the well-off did not deserve subsidies were both detrimental to the commoners as only a miniscule portion of the country’s population comprised the super rich.

When the CPI(M) organised a symbolic ‘burning hearths’ stir over the LPG issue, many had ridiculed the party. However, the agitation had caught the imagination of the people. The effort now would be to give as forceful an expression to the people’s anger at the Centre’s cooking gas subsidy policy as possible. The party had not decided on any deadline for ending the fast, he said.

The CPI(M) State secretary brushed aside reports quoting Janadhipathya Samrakshana Samithi (JSS) leader K.R. Gowri Amma’s claim that his emissary had met her at the time of the 2006 Assembly elections with the offer that the party was ready to make her Chief Minister if she rejoined the party. He was unaware of any such discussion. How could anybody make such an offer, he asked.

Mr. Vijayan also termed unfounded reports about impropriety in the sale of party organ Deshabhimani’s land and building in Thiruvananthapuram. The property was sold to one Danish Chacko and all reports alleging impropriety were baseless, he said.

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