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Allies go on warpath with govt; nationwide protest on Sep 20

September 15, 2012 17:26 IST

In a bid to mount pressure on UPA government, allies Samajwadi Party and JD(S) will join Left parties, BJD and TDP for a nationwide "powerful" protest next Thursday to oppose the decision to allow foreign players in retail and hike in diesel prices.

In a joint statement, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and others alleged that the UPA government has "stuck cruel blows on the people one after another" by raising diesel price, limiting subsidised cooking gas, opening up of multi-brand retail and disinvestment of PSUs.

The joint statement, however, does not mention about Friday's government decision allowing FDI in aviation and broadcasting.

"Let us all unite to stop these measures which will further burden the people and ruin their livelihood. Let there be a powerful protest on September 20 through hartals, picketing, demonstrations and court arrest programmes," the statement said.

Besides Yadav, the statement was signed by H D Deve Gowda (JD-S), Prakash Karat (CPI-M), S Sudhakar Reddy (CPI), Naveen Patnaik (BJD), Chandrababu Naidu (TDP), Debabrata Biswas (Forward Bloc) and T J Chandrachoodan (RSP).

SP and JD(S), which are supporting the UPA government from outside, have been critical of the government's decisions. They along with Left parties had earlier written a joint letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on price hike issue.

"It (UPA) has raised the price of diesel by Rs 5 per litre, burdening the farmers. It has limited subsidised gas cylinder per family to six and the rest will have to be bought at market price which is more than double.

"It has opened multi-brand retail trade to foreign supermarket chains, endangering livelihood of more than four crore people involved in retail trade and the mass of consumers. It is selling off shares of profitable PSUs and navaratna companies like NALCO and Oil India," the statement said.

Asking public to protest the "anti-people measures", the leaders appealed to farmers, workers, women, youths, transporters, shopkeepers, traders organisations and all "patriotic-minded citizens" to join the movement.

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