Opposition parties gearing up for nation-wide ‘hartal' on April 27

VIZIANAGARAM: In preparation to the scheduled nation-wide ‘hartal' on April 27 in protest against the soaring prices of essential commodities and the government's helplessness to control them, the district councils of the TDP, the CPI and the CPI (M) would conduct cycle yatras in all mandal headquarters on April 24 to create awareness among people on the issue and to bring pressure on the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre.

Food inflation

Addressing a joint press conference here on Wednesday, M. Suryanarayana (CPI-M), P. Kameswara Rao (CPI) and Y. Ramana Murty (TDP) flayed what they called the inaction of the Prime Minister in spite of demonstrations at regular intervals on the price rise. They said that the Prime Minister conducted a review meeting with Chief Ministers in February on the issue but no action had so far been taken. Ironically, the food inflation figure had gone up by 1 per cent from 17.7 per cent after the review meeting, Mr. Suryaranayana said. As the Congress was not ready to accept their suggestions, the 13-party combine called for ‘hartal' on April 27 and appealed to traders and people to cooperate.

Mr. Ramana Murty said that corruption at every level was the main reason for inaction on the price rise. He alleged that the government softened its stand towards unscrupulous traders and middlemen. The raids conducted on godowns of traders were only eyewash, he said.

Mr. Kameswara Rao said that the Rosaiah Government had increased VAT from 12.5 to 14.5 per cent, burdening the people further.