Staff Reporter

BHUBANESWAR: Left parties have decided to hold a massive rally here on November 24 next protesting steep rise in prices of essential commodities and jeopardise of food security of poor families.

At a convention jointly organised by the CPI (M), CPI and Forward Bloc here on Thursday, leaders charged that governance had crumbled in view of inability to arrest price rise, prevent further marginalisation of people on food security front and vanishing agriculture.

Addressing the gathering of intellectuals and Left supporters, CPI State Secretary Dibakar Nayak said prices were rising uncontrollably because the Union government had allowed forward trade. “By June 2007, the turnover of forward trading in the country was estimated to be Rs. 2,21,888 crore. Now it has gone up to Rs. 15, 64,114 crore. Forward trading led to uncontrolled rise of prices for which people are going through untold miseries,” Mr. Nayak said.

Similarly, Santosh Das, State Polit Buro member of CPI (M), said the last NDA government changed all policies to help out “unethical” traders, thus creating huge opportunities for hoarding by black marketers.

Almost all Left leaders were univocal in their criticism that public distribution system was almost non-existent in many habitations and the government was doing little to resurrect the system for benefits of lower income groups.

Compensation

Left parties demanded that governments should take village as a unit for opting any insurance in agricultural sector. They said compensation should be paid to those farmers who suffered less than 50 per cent loss in agriculture yield for continuous three years. The other issues which came up during the meeting included expedite of patta distribution among forest dwellers and BPL card for all poor families. Among others who spoke on the occasion included CPI (M) State secretary Janaradhan Pati, veteran CPI (M) leader Shivaji Patnaik and Forward Block leader Sarat Manshingh.