THOUSANDS of people marched through the streets of Kolkata on July 11, protesting against price rise, at the call of 17 Left and democratic parties. The rally took up a 16-point charter of demands which included immediate steps to control unprecedented price rise, scrapping of price hike of petro products, withdrawal of allowing FDI in retail and food trade etc. It also raised state-specific demands of proper distribution of food items in PDS and lowering extraordinary hike in power tariff.
The rally started from Y-Channel in Dharmatala and ended at College Square. It was the biggest mobilisation of the Left after the assembly elections. Apart from Left Front constituents, JD(U), RJD, NCP, CPI (ML-Santosh Rana), Bolshevik Party, Workers’ Party, CPB, PDS, CRLI joined in the march.
After the rally, a public meeting was held at College Square. Addressing the rally, CPI(M) state secretary Surjyakanta Misra said, it is true that the main responsibility of price rise lies with the centre. It is their policies which have fuelled price hike. But there are many things that a state government can do. The TMC government in West Bengal is totally inactive in price management. Under the TMC regime, unprecedented hike in power tariff has burdened common people.
Left Front chairman Biman Basu alleged that the TMC government has resisted discussion on price rise in state assembly too. Leaders of 17 parties addressed the rally.