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Anti-inflation campaign by CPI

Special Correspondent
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Five lakh party workers will blockade village offices on January 22

The Communist Party of India will launch a campaign against price rise from January 13 to 20 across panchayats and municipalities in the State.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, CPI State secretary Pannian Ravindran said that five lakh party workers would participate in the proposed blockade of village offices in the State on January 22.

He alleged that the Union and State governments had failed to tackle the unprecedented price rise.

The Centre had already hiked railway fares by 30 per cent, the price of cooking gas by Rs.130, and that of diesel by Rs. 4. Petroleum companies had been given the freedom to raise the price of petroleum products as they wished. The right to decide on fertilizer prices too had been handed over to the manufacturing companies. There was no control in the price of essential life saving drugs. The State government too contributed to the rise in prices by increasing bus charge, power and water tariffs, and milk prices.

Mr. Ravindran said the power sector was going through a major crisis. He criticised the Kerala State Electricity Board’s decision to bring in more power curbs on the pretext of carrying out maintenance. The justification given by the government for the power curbs were not convincing, he said, and added that it was in this context that his party had decided to launch a campaign.

He deplored Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s stand on the ongoing strike of government employees and teachers’ organisations, accusing him of “dictatorial tendencies and arrogance.”

Mr. Ravindran said that the Left Democratic Front would withdraw the contributory pension scheme once it returned to power. Instead of inviting the leaders of striking organisations for talks, the government was using the police machinery to suppress the agitation.

He also flayed the State Cabinet’s decision to pick up a 10 per cent stake in the Aranmula airport project.

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