Left parties plan nationwide stir against petroleum price hike
TANUR: The Left parties will exert pressure in Parliament against the increase in prices of petroleum products. Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury, MP, said here on Friday that the Left would put pressure on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to withdraw the increase in fuel prices.
He was inaugurating the 11th edition of the EMS memorial national seminar titled ‘The World of EMS’ at the Soorya Auditorium. The CPI(M) leader said that a nationwide protest was being planned against the petroleum price hike. Every time the Central government attempted to increase the price of petroleum products, it was the Left that coerced it against it, he said.
“This time, too, the Left will exert great pressure on the Centre to withdraw the increase in fuel prices,” he said. Petrol prices were increased 33 times during the erstwhile government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he said.
Mr. Yechury warned that extremist forces would take advantage of the situation if the UPA government did not change its policies. “Extremist elements are there in all groups,” he said. “They have no religion or ideology.”
Mr. Yechury said branding Muslims as extremists was a major agenda of the BJP. He described religion as a holy tie between the body and the mind.
Although Karl Marx had described religion as an opiate of the people, Mr. Yechury said that Marx meant it in good sense. Marx had also said that religion provided love, security and peace for those who did not get them elsewhere, he said.
Mr. Yechury said that foreign direct investment (FDI) should not be allowed to destroy the edifice of the economy. FDI and foreign monopolies should be resisted by increasing indigenous production and employment opportunities, he said.
However, Mr. Yechury clarified that the Left had accepted FDI with conditions in the States where it ruled. “There is no difference in the CPI(M) over FDI,” he said. The Left, he added, would continue to support the UPA government for people-friendly measures.