Call for West Bengal shut down to protest price rise

June 4th, 2008 - 5:22 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Kolkata, June 4 (IANS) The Left Front (LF) in West Bengal called for a 12-hour shutdown across the state Thursday to protest against the price hike in petroleum products, Front chairman Biman Bose said here. “All left parties have decided to call this 12-hour shutdown (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.) Thursday in West Bengal protesting against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s decision to allow a hike in the price of petrol, diesel and cooking gas in the country,” Bose told a press conference Wednesday.

He said: “I request people to join hands in the protest by participating in the shutdown. I’ve also asked all our party workers to take out state-wide protest rallies to campaign against this decision of the central government.”

The price of diesel has been increased by Rs.3 per litre, petrol by Rs.5 per litre and cooking gas by Rs.50 per cylinder after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs Wednesday, which was presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The decision will take effect from midnight Wednesday.

Bose said: “We have taken this decision unanimously after discussing the issue with all the LF constituents including the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), the Forward Bloc (FB) and the Communist Party of India (CPI). We would try to reach out to the maximum number of people in West Bengal with our protest programme.”

He said the LF had earlier submitted an 11-point demand list to the prime minister but the UPA government hardly paid any heed to that. The union government has failed to control the price rise of essential commodities and increasing inflation in the country.

“By increasing the price of petroleum products, the UPA government is pushing the common people to a critical end,” he said.

The Trinamool Congress also called for a 12-hour shutdown in West Bengal Friday protesting the price hike of petrol, diesel and LPG.

“Being in the UPA government, how can the Left Front call a shutdown protesting the price rise issue. If they really care for people, they should withdraw their support from the alliance. We are protesting the decision of increasing the price of petroleum products as it goes against common citizens,” Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chattopadhyay told IANS.

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