K.V. Prasad

Left to take up issues of SEZs, cut in petrol and diesel prices

  • Left to insist on introduction of women's quota bill
  • CPI (M) Polit Bureau to meet on Tuesday to discuss political situation

    NEW DELHI: The Left parties will take up the controversial issue of special economic zones (SEZs) and reduction in petrol and diesel prices at the Coordination Committee meeting with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) here on Monday.

    Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat said that besides, the parties would insist that the Government bring forward the Women's Reservation Bill to provide one-third reservation in Parliament and the State legislatures during the winter session of Parliament beginning on November 22.

    At the October 4 meeting with the UPA, the Left parties stressed that the Government should not hold back the Bill on the ground that it was trying to evolve a consensus. The Left leaders, including CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan, had suggested that the Government let the political parties take a stand in Parliament, which would clearly show where each one stood vis-à-vis the Bill.

    Soon after the coordination committee meeting in October, the four Left parties submitted a detailed note to the UPA seeking a review of the SEZ Act and suggesting corrective steps.

    The suggestions involve amendments to the SEZ Act and Rules and the Left parties believe that unless they are brought about, the policy will denigrate into a free-for-all with serious consequences.

    The Left parties in their October 19 note to the UPA also demanded that the Board of Approval stop granting fresh approvals until the completion of the review process.

    Polit Bureau meet

    The CPI (M) Polit Bureau, at its two-day meeting starting on Tuesday, would discuss the latest political situation and the party's approach in the coming Assembly elections, especially Uttar Pradesh. The CPI (M) has had an understanding with the Samajwadi Party while the CPI has joined hands with the Jan Morcha of V.P. Singh and Raj Babbar.

    Asked about his assessment of the outcome of the local bodies elections in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Karat said the Bharatiya Janata Party had made gains but, in the absence of the Bahujan Samaj Party, these results could not be the basis to arrive at any conclusion ahead of the Assembly elections. The Samajwadi Party, he said, had not been much of a force in urban areas and the CPI (M) would make a detailed study of the results.

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