Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday condemned the killing of Bihari labourers by extremists in Manipur.

It feared that such incidents would adversely affect the development in the northeast.

Addressing a press conference here, CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia said all citizens enjoyed the right to earn their livelihood by securing employment in any part of the country.

“This is not only violation of Constitutional right but also an attempt to fan forces of regionalism, spread hatred and tear asunder the fabric of social harmony.”

Echoing similar sentiments, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation called upon the people of Hindi-speaking States as well as from Manipur and the northeast to forge unity and rebuff the divisive forces.

Reacting to the killings, party general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said: “Such chauvinism was a new phenomenon in Manipur, where the Manipuri people’s movements had always taken on the might of the State and had never turned against innocent migrant labourers.”

Mr. Acharia expressed anguish over not being allowed to have a debate in the Lok Sabha on the rise in prices of essential commodities. It was the “most burning issue” affecting a vast majority of the people.

“Since last year’s monsoon session, we have been demanding a structured debate on the alarming rise in prices of all essential commodities. The government has been giving us assurance after assurance, but nothing has been done.”

“The family budget has risen by an average of Rs. 650 a month and the Finance Minister has failed to take any step to mitigate the problems of the poor and the middle class, who constitute 90 per cent of the people,” Mr. Acharia said.

The prices of steel and cement had also risen considerably in the past 15 days. Even the quota of rice and wheat for the public distribution system was being substantially slashed.

“Prices have gone up abnormally, especially after the budget was presented this year.”

Mr. Acharia said the CPI(M) had sought a call-attention motion in the monsoon session last year but it was not taken up. In the winter session, a special debate was listed but the House was adjourned.

His party colleague Mohd. Salim said the government was now coming to terms with reality and accepting that price rise was a cause for concern. Earlier, the government was maintaining that inflation was “growth-infused.”

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