Staff Reporter

KOLLAM: Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the collapse of the public distribution system (PDS) is the cause of the ``unbearable price rise'' in the country.

Inaugurating a dharna organised by the district unit of the party in front of the Head Post Office here on Tuesday in protest against price rise, Mr. Vijayan said the policy of the Left parties was to strengthen the PDS. He warned of a nation-wide agitation if the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre failed to strengthen the PDS. He alleged that the UPA Government was not interested in strengthening the PDS.

He said the Left Democratic Front Government, with the active support of the Civil Supplies Department and the cooperative sector, had appreciably brought down the prices.

He claimed that the price rise in Kerala was much below the national average.

Later, the CPI(M) activists courted arrest. The dharna was led by CPI(M) district secretary K. Rajagopal and the CPI(M) leaders X. Earnest, Rajendra Babu, K. Thusalidharan and K. Varadharajan.