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Left parties seek rollback of fuel prices, announce 15-day protest

A filling station in New Delhi on Friday.  

The Left parties have announced a 15-day protest from June 16 to 30, demanding a rollback of fuel price hike and controlling the prices of essential commodities.

In a joint statement signed by general secretaries of the five Left parties — Sitaram Yechury of the CPI (M), D. Raja of the CPI, Debabrata Biswas of the All India Forward Bloc, Manoj Bhattacharya of the Revolutionary Socialist Party and Dipankar Bhattacharya of the CPI (ML) — pointed out that the prices of petroleum products had gone up by 21 times since the results of the recent Assembly elections were announced on May 2.

“This is leading to a cascading inflationary spiral with the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) rising to a 11-year high. The prices of food articles have risen by nearly 5% in April. Primary commodities saw a rise of 10.16% and manufactured products have risen by 9.01%. By the time these commodities reach the retail markets, the consumers are charged much more,” the parties said.

Earlier, the Congress too had held a day-long protest at petrol pumps across the nation against the fuel hike.

The Left parties said that the economy was going into deep recession. “Clearly, unscrupulous black-marketing and hoarding is taking place under state patronage. Modi government must strictly crackdown on such black-marketing especially of essential drugs, vital for people’s survival,” they said.

The announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent address to the nation of extending till Deepavali the PM Garib Kalayan Anna Yojana of 5 kgs of foodgrains was completely inadequate, the parties said. Instead, 10 kg foodgrains per month to all individuals, including a food kit with pulses, edible oil, sugar, spices, tea etc., must be distributed free.

“Modi government must immediately give direct cash transfers of ₹7,500 per month for six months to all families not in the income tax paying bracket,” the joint statement said.


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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 4:54:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/left-parties-seek-rollback-of-fuel-prices-announce-15-day-protest/article34803125.ece

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