Left, UNPA warn government over price rise

April 19th, 2008 - 7:04 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead)

New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) The Left and the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) Saturday warned the UPA government of serious consequences if it failed to control spiralling prices, but stopped short of withdrawing support. UNPA chairperson and Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav, voicing the front’s concern over the inflation, warned: “I am not asking the Left leaders to withdraw support. After all, even we are supporting the government. And we are even being punished and humiliated despite the support. But I would say - either improve the situation, or… and you all know what the blanks mean.”

The UNPA and Left leaders, who launched a weeklong agitation against price rise Saturday, courted arrest here after they were stopped by the police from marching to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Some of the UNPA constituents urged the Left to withdraw support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government over the issue.

Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) president Om Prakash Chautala said: “I request the Left not to save the government but to save the nation”.

Though the Left leaders warned the UPA government of serious repercussions of continued price rise, they skirted any mention of withdrawal of support.

The Left reiterated its demanded for a ban on forward trading of essential commodities, rolling back ad valorem tax on petroleum products, checking hoarding of food grains and strengthening the public distribution system.

Earlier in the day, at a public meeting, the UNPA and the Left launched a weeklong agitation against price rise, warning the government of an “explosive” situation if prices continued to rise.

“An explosive situation will emerge if (food) prices are not controlled,” Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat told the meeting.

The UNPA includes the Samajwadi Party, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).

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