The Communist Party of India on Friday said the Left will move an adjournment motion in the Winter Session of Parliament on the price rise issue as it accused the United Progressive Alliance government of not being able to control double-digit inflation and demanded deregulation of fuel prices.
After the two-day National Executive meet, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan also warned that the party would launch nationwide protests if a "strong Lokpal" bill is not passed in the Winter Session beginning Tuesday, but ruled out joining Anna Hazare's movement. "There is a move to bring an adjournment motion in Parliament on price rise issue. The Left itself will bring the motion. There is no relief to common man and no steps from the government despite Parliament passing an unanimous resolution earlier," he said.
He accused the government of doing nothing to bring down the double-digit inflation, saying the economic situation in the country was "very serious" despite "comfortable statements" made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on various issues.
Opposing the frequent hike in prices of petrol, Bardhan demanded that the government reverse deregulation and decontrol of fuel prices in the interests of common people. On the recent decrease in fuel hike, he said that was an indication that the prices can be increased anytime in future citing prices of crude oil in the international market.
Bardhan also said the CPI expects the government to pass the Lokpal Bill during the Winter Session itself. "If the bill is not passed, then our national executive has decided that, we will launch an intensified campaign for its passage," he said. Asked whether they would join Hazare's anti-corruption movement, he said, "No. We will have our own campaign." Bardhan accused the government of "drifting" on various issue like the Telangana statehood demand and Food Security Bill.
"Telangana is a serious problem. The entire state of Andhra Pradesh was paralysed for over a month. The government has no answer to it. No one knows what is the status of the consultations on the issue that the government has been talking about," he said.
The CPI leader alleged that there were "several attempts" to "dilute and virtually scuttle" the Food Security Bill and asked the government to come out with a strong legislation at least during the Budget Session next year. "There is an attempt to tinker with (the definition of) poor and dividing the poor into Below Poverty Line and Above Poverty Line. We also oppose the cash transfer scheme which the government has introduced," he said. Bardhan said the party has always been advocating a "universal" and "effective" Public Distribution System for everyone.
He also said the party will observe December 15 as "Food Security Day" by holding demonstrations, and rallies. The CPI general secretary also demanded withdrawal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from "quieter" areas in Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur.
"In fact, we want the whole draconian and unworthy act to be repealed. But if the army has any objections then let it be at least lifted from these areas where there are no disturbances," he said. He said the national executive also demanded roll back of the government's decision to allow FDI in mutli-branded retail trading as it would affect millions of retail traders.