Staff Correspondent

Kolar: Bagepalli MLA and Communist Party of India (Marxist) Kolar district committee secretary G.V. Sriram Reddy on Tuesday criticised the Janata Dal (S)-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition Government for its failure to issue ration cards to the poor. Irresponsibility on the part of the Government and inefficient officers were causing hardships to the poor, he said while addressing a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner's office here.

Mr. Reddy criticised the Government for allegedly issuing below poverty line cards to rich people and above poverty line cards to the poor. He opposed the unit system in providing grains for cardholders.

The party's district unit organised the dharna to protest against the spiralling prices of essential commodities.

The United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre too had failed to protect the interests of the common people, Mr. Sriram Reddy alleged. The Union Government is pursuing policies of the previous National Democratic Alliance Government and is providing concessions to multi-national companies, he said. The Left parties would be forced to table a motion against the Budget in Parliament if the Union Government fails to take appropriate steps to check the rising prices, he said.

The party's Kolar taluk secretary Gandhinagar Narayanaswamy urged the Union Government to include Kolar district under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme as district was reeling under drought.

The agitators demanded that the State Government issue below poverty line cards to all the applicant poor.

They decried the IMF-World Bank dictated policies, which, they said, were aimed at weakening the public distribution system in the country.