Top Left leaders on Tuesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi and demanded steps to bring down soaring prices of essential commodities and universalisation of public distribution system, among other things, to ensure food security to people.
The leaders later submitted to the government, what they said, were over 5 crore signatures collected during a two-month long nationwide campaign on these demands. The signatures on the charter of demands were delivered on a truck.
Those who met the Prime Minister at the Parliament House were Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat and Tapan Sen (all CPI-M), Sudhakar Reddy, D Raja (CPI), T J Chandrachoodan, Abani Roy (RSP) and Debabrata Biswas (All India Forward Bloc).
Besides universalisation of PDS, the demands raised during the campaign include scrapping of cash transfer schemes and export of foodgrains which are out of stock, enlarging the rural employment guarantee scheme, introduction of an urban employment guarantee scheme in view of the widespread loss of employment and rise in poverty in urban areas, stopping of futures trading in foodgrains.
Activists of the four Left parties also staged a demonstration at Jantar Mantar to focus on these demands.