Thousands protest high food prices and corruption in India

February 23rd, 2011 - 9:54 pm ICT by BNO News  

NEW DELHI (BNO NEWS) — Thousands of people took to the streets of New Delhi on Wednesday to protest against rising food prices, rampant corruption and unemployment.

Demonstrators, mostly trade unionists, marched through the centre of New Delhi towards the Parliament chanting slogans against the government’s inability to combat inflation. They also called on the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to provide food security, particularly to the poor people. Members of a group linked to ruling Congress party also participated in the march.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) said in a statement that the purpose of the march was to press for the right of workers “to seek their rightful share in the country’s so-called ‘robust growth story,’” as cited by India Infoline News Service.

Organizers were expecting a turnout of up to one million people from 19 states, according to the statement.

The Reserve Bank of India has raised interest rates seven times in less than a year, while the benchmark wholesale price inflation still stands stubbornly above 8%. Food inflation is running at over 11%.

Demonstrators also protested government corruption. Public anger has grown across India after a series of high-profile scandals, including the cut-price sale of mobile phone licenses and allegations of widespread corruption related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

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