India Left parties walkout in Parliament over price rise issue


Jan 11, 2010
The Left agitation in the capital against price rise had its echo in Parliament today with members of four Left parties walking out of both Houses protesting the government's "lack of response" to their demand for a white paper on the issue.
In the Lok Sabha, Samajwadi Party also joined the walkout while parties like BJP, RJD, BSP and BJD supported the Left.
Raising the issue in Rajya Sabha during Zero Hour, Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) said lakhs of people have come to the national capital to protest "massive price rise" and urged the government to accept his five demands to address the issue.
He said the government should release the surplus stock of 275 lakh tonnes of foodgrains kept in godowns, which was more
than 200 lakh tonnes required for the buffer stock.
He also suggested universalisation of PDS, immediate ban on futures trading of foodgrains and essential commodities,
rollback in the hike of petroleum product prices and check on hoarding and black-marketing.
Supporting these demands, D Raja (CPI) also said while UPA-II talks about food security, it was in fact slashing subsidies on food and fertilisers.
Abani Roy (RSP) warned of disorder if 'Aam Aadmi' fails to get foodgrain. "If the government fails to provide foodgrains to all, it means it is inefficient and there is a need to change this government," he said.
Raising the issue in Lok Sabha, Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) and Basudeb Acharia (CPI-M) sought a white paper on the price situation, saying the government has "failed" to take any step to curb rising prices.
Gopinath Munde (BJP), Bhratruhari Mahtab (BJD) and Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP) associated with the Left parties on the issue.
"We have raised the matter a number of times in the House, but there has been no response from the government and the prices have continued to rise. We demand that the government come out with a white paper and take action to check the rising prices," Dasgupta said.
Acharia wanted the concerned Minister to reply and urged speaker Meira Kumar to "put pressure" on the government to reply to their demands. However, there was no response from the treasury benches, which prompted the entire Left bloc to stage a walkout.
CPI(M) member Ramchandra Dome also took the government to task on "skyrocketting prices" and said the Left parties were staging a massive rally outside Parliament to protest the government's policies which, he said, was causing prices to rise.
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