Lashing out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for failing to improve the condition of the poor, Communist Party of India – Marxist Politburo member Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Sunday said the United Progressive Alliance regime has pursued anti-people policies to help a handful of rich people for the past nine years.
"Can Manmohan Singh claim that the conditions of the poor and the middle class have improved during the nine years of the UPA regime? Can he claim that the number of unemployed youth in the country has come down? The fact is the condition of the poor has worsened under this regime because of its anti-people policies," Bhattacharjee, a former chief minister, told a rally.
The UPA government had not undertaken a proper Public Distribution System to provide food grains at subsidised rates, he said and criticised it for increasing fuel prices and capping the number of subsidised LPG cylinders.
"We (CPI-M) are fighting against UPA's policies both inside and outside the Parliament. We have time and again requested the government to strengthen PDS, but it is least bothered about it. Instead it is differentiating the poor as APL and BPL categories. How much money does it take to provide subsidised ration to the people," he said.
"We had requested that oil prices be controlled by the government as these have a direct impact on price rise and inflation. The petrol, diesel, kerosene prices are increasing regularly and it is impacting the masses," he said.
Alleging that a section of the industrialists have become richer in the UPA regime, Bhattacharjee questioned Trinamool Congress's 'silence' on various anti-people policies of the Centre between 2009 and 2012, when it was supporting the UPA.
"Now TC is protesting against the oil and fertliser price hike. They kept quiet when petrol price was deregulated. They are protesting now after withdrawing support (to the UPA)," he said.
The state government should stop taking taxes on oil prices, he said and questioned the increase in power tariff, which is also controlled by the government, on a regular basis.