The State Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has decided to support non-BJP and non-Congress candidates in two upcoming by-elections in Himachal Pradesh.

According to the party’s Central Committee member and State secretary Rakesh Singha, the CPI (M) is not fighting the by-elections because of its all-important State level convention on crucial issues of price rise, drought and food security on October 27.

Expressing deep concern over the continuous rise in the prices of essential commodities, the Marxist leader said the party along with the CPI would launch “a struggle against the anti-people policies of the Central and State governments”.

“Very soon we would also take up the issue of disinvestment of profit-making public sector companies by the incumbent governments,” he said. The Left, which had stalled the process of disinvestment during UPA rule, would take it to the people jointly and again force the Congress and its allies not to sell away precious public assets to private companies, he added.

The party also demanded an immediate enactment of legislation on food security that should meet the globally accepted definition of food security for a household, which says “access by all members at all times to enough food for an active healthy life”. The Left leaders demanded that the food quotas be raised to 35 kg from the present 25 kg and a change in the definition of the poverty line.