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Bengal: 15 Left, Other Parties Stage Dharna Against Price Hike, Corruption Across State

Parties plan to hold block-level protests against rising inflation rate, spiralling fuel and essential prices and corruption at Centre and state.
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Kolkata: Kartick Gharami, 38, a labourer with Kolkata Municipal Corporation, finished his day’s work and headed for a dharna being held by 15 Left parties in Kolkata. He said he was taking part in the protest against rising prices as “the issue affects all of us”. 

“Fuel prices are increasing and even after having an Ujwala gas connection, we cannot afford to buy gas from the open market. The rise in petro goods prices and inflation is hitting us extremely  hard,” says Gharami, who earns Rs 9,000/month as a part-time labourer with KMC. To run the household, his wife works as a cook and earns Rs 3,000/month. “How can we manage our homes? Such protests should expose the “setting” between Modi (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) and Mamata (West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee)”, said Gharami, who stays in a basti  Taltala.

Across the state, 15 Left parties are staging dharnas  demanding reduction in the prices of petro products, essential commodities and against corruption in government departments.

The central dharna in Kolkata  was attended by Left Front Chairman  Biman Basu,  CPI(M) state secretary  Mohd Salim ,  CPI(M) polit bureau member Surjyakanta Mishra, RSP national secretary Manoj Bhattacharya , CPI state secretary Swapan Banerjee and leaders of the other Left constituents, including the CPI(ML) Liberation.

“The Union government is trying to hand over natural resources of the country, including food and fuel, to the corporate interests. People will be forced to pay extremely high prices. Helping Adani and Ambani (industrialists), will help parties like BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and TMC (Trinamool Congress) fill up their coffers ,” said Salim, while addressing the dharna participants.

He alleged that both BJP (ruling at the Centre) and TMC (ruling the state) depend on “loot politics”. “People should come forward against this with all their might. All the forces against TMC and BJP should be brought under one roof,” he added.

Basu said unemployment and inflation were increasing at an alarming rate. “Public works here (Bengal) is facing a lot of nepotism problems. Looters are having a field day,” he said, adding that block level protest programmes should be held against this.

Calling upon the gathering to join hands to fight against problems facing the common people, Mishra said “there are no jobs in the state as no industries exist in West Bengal. As a result, production is also not picking up.  New demand is not being created. Crony capitalism is at its best in the country,” adding that it is the aim of “fascist Right-wing forces”  to have such an economy .

The dharna programme also saw the participation of leaders and members of CPI, Forward Bloc,  CPI(ML)Liberation , Party of Democratic Socialism, Communist Revolutionary League of India, Communist Party Bharat, Nationalist Congress Party,  Janata Dal (United),  Revolutionary Communist Party of India.

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