CPI (M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan called for a joint agitation of traders’ forums against the government policies that affect their livelihood.

Speaking at a public meeting organised in connection with a conference of the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Samiti here on Thursday, Mr. Vijayan said the entry of multinational companies in the retail business sector would affect millions of small-scale traders of the country. The livelihood of 82 per cent of the traders was hit when big Indian corporates entered the retail sector some time ago. It also resulted in 42 per cent drop in the business of the traders, he said.

The CPI (M) leader accused the Congress of using money raised through corruption to destabilise democracy in the county.

Binni Immatty, president of the Samiti, presided over the meeting.

Earlier, Mr. Vijayan inaugurated an agitation of the Kerala Karshaka Sangham demanding subsidy for cattle feed and better benefits for milk producers.