National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) general secretary Annie Raja on Thursday hit out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his letter to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi that there was no reason for giving minimum wages to NREGP workers.

Addressing a press conference here, she said Dr. Singh's letter was a violation of the Constitution. “This is nothing but encouraging slavery,” she said quoting Supreme Court verdicts given on three occasions.

The apex court, she said, had ruled that employees giving less than stipulated minimum wages were encouraging slavery.

“In this particular case, government is the employer. If it violates Minimum Wages Act of 1948, automatically it becomes an instigator of slavery,” she pointed out.

On price rise, Ms. Raja poked fun at the government saying the Prime Minister had promised to bring down prices within 20 to 30 days when he addressed Food and Agriculture Ministers from the States exactly a year ago.

She said the prices were sky-rocketing as a result of the policies of UPA-II in encouraging monopoly of fertilizer, seed and agriculture market by the multinationals.

The proposed Food Security Bill was an eye-wash as bringing some changes in Public Distribution system would not provide any security.

Ms. Raja said corruption had reached an all-time high under UPA regime with the unearthing of Adarsh housing, 2G, ISRO spectrum and Commonwealth Games scandals.

AP Mahila Samakhya State president Akkineni Vanaja, secretary K. Aruna, vice-president Ganga Bhavani and district secretary Vimala were present.