Left to oppose fuel price hike, intensify stir against UPA policies (Lead)

May 23rd, 2008 - 10:45 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) The Left parties Friday said they would not accept any proposal to increase the prices of petrol and diesel and warned the government of intensifying their agitation against the neo-liberal policies. “There is no question of accepting any hike in the fuel prices,” Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat told reporters.

Karat’s statement came hours after the petroleum ministry indicated that an increase in fuel prices was imminent in the wake of a steep rise in the international prices of crude oil.

According to the Communist leader, the government should revamp the excise and customs duty regime on crude oil and petro-products to tackle the oil crisis.

The four-party Left conglomerate, whose leaders met here to discuss their strategy against the government’s wrong policies, also warned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government that it will have to “face the wrath of the people suffering due to price rise and the deterioration in their living standards.”

“In this last year of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government, the Left parties express their firm resolve to resist the neo-liberal policies and to continue the mobilization of the people to force the government to bring in immediate measures to provide relief to the people from price rise, agrarian crisis, unemployment and loss of existing livelihood,” the party leaders said in a statement.

“It is incumbent upon the Left parties to step up the agitation against the government policies,” Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan told reporters after the meeting.

Alleging that the government has failed in containing inflation, the Left leader said the Congress-led government was “addicted to free market reforms in spite of people suffering due to price rise and, therefore, refuses to impose controls and regulations.”

The communists also took a snipe at the planning commission and its Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia averring that the body was a “behaving like a super cabinet” under his guidance. They alleged that the plan panel had tried to “subvert” the government’s assurance that 35 non-metro airports would be modernized by the Airports Authority of India.

“The planning commission is seeking to subvert the decision by pushing for private participation in the commercial operations and maintenance of the terminal buildings of the 35 non-metro airports.”

The communists also said that India’s deepening military ties and security collaborations with Israel were “detrimental” to the country’s vital interests.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Politics |