Staff Reporter

‘Skyrocketing prices force people to skip at least a meal a day’

Deputy Mayor prevents leaders from launching personal attacks

Withdrawal of petro price hike sought

VIJAYAWADA: For almost two hours on Saturday, the meeting of the general body of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) resembled a session of Parliament, as corporators discussed at length the issue of galloping inflation rate and hike in oil prices, despite the fact that these issues were clearly beyond the purview of a local body.

Corporators of the Left parties and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) competed with each other to argue how the spiralling prices of essential commodities had dealt a severe blow to the lives of common people, besides finding fault with certain policies of the Central Government, which, they contended, resulted in the present crisis.

The issues came to the fore with the tabling of a proposal by the Communist Party of India (CPI) floor leader P. Gautham Reddy seeking a resolution appealing to the State Government to control the prices of essential commodities.

Maintaining that there was a huge gap between the incomes and expenditures of the poor, he said that the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities were forcing common people to skip at least a meal a day.

Donepudi Kasinath of the CPI (M) and Y.V. Ramana Rao of the TDP lambasted the Government for not taking any steps to regulate the prices, while Koneru Ramadevi and Nalluri Usha Rani of the TDP, P. Durga Bhavani of the CPI and K. Sridevi of the CPI (M) narrated the problems womenfolk were facing due to the price hike.

Heated argument

Deputy Mayor Anne Prasanna, who presided the session on the second day too, prevented the leaders from launching personal attacks and did not allow a discussion on issues like alleged nepotism by the ruling party leaders at the State-level.

The issue of oil price hike was discussed by the corporators in the post-lunch session, when the CPI (M) floor leader Ch. Babu Rao made a proposal seeking withdrawal of the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel by the Central Government.

A heated argument took place between Mr. Kasinath and Abdul Khadar of the Congress over the issue of subsidy announced by the State Government on cooking gas cylinders.

Mr. Kasinath demanded that the Government announce similar subsidies on petrol and diesel too. Mr. Babu Rao took objection to the proposal to thank Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy for announcing subsidy on cooking gas cylinders.