Sushanta Talukdar

“Centre will become more powerful”

GUWAHATI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) favours a federal system under which States will be strong. It is opposed to bifurcation of any State, including Andhra Pradesh, general secretary Prakash Karat said on Sunday.

Addressing a rally against rise in prices, he cautioned that if Andhra Pradesh was to be bifurcated to create Telangana, such demands would follow in other States.

This would only make the Centre more powerful, while allowing multi-national companies to eat up the smaller States.

Mr. Karat said the Centre’s unilateral declaration on the creation of Telangana, without any political consensus, stirred statehood demand in different parts.

He cited the revival of the movement for statehood by the Bodos and the Karbis. If Telangana was created, Assam would break into smaller States.

As for the rise in prices of food items, he reiterated his party’s demand that ration cards be issued to every citizen and rice be distributed at Rs. 2 a kg through the Public Distribution System. Rice was being supplied at that rate through the PDS in West Bengal, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh to cushion the people from the impact of rising prices, he said, asking why it could not be done in Assam.

The Left parties would meet on December 24 to decide on turning the movement against price rise into a national one, and on the party’s demand that 14 essential commodities be supplied through the PDS. As part of the intensified agitation to get the PDS universalised, a rally would be organised in front of Parliament during the next budget session.

Describing the erosion caused by the floods in the Brahmaputra and its tributaries in Assam as “very grave,” Mr. Karat alleged that neither the Centre nor the State government had made any effort to resolve the problem.

More In: Today's Paper