Trinamool Govt. has failed to check rising prices, says Biman Basu
KOLKATA, July 18: On July 16 and 17, thousands of people participated in civil disobedience in West Bengal against the unprecedented price rises. While the programme was observed in districts on July 16, the Left Front observed it in Kolkata centrally on July 17.
The Left Front initiated a campaign against price rise and continuing attack on democracy from the 4th of this month. A village and area level intensive campaign was organised, followed by block and subdivision level deputations and demonstrations. The civil disobedience marked the peak of this campaign. The discontent among people against the spiralling price rise was evident in their truly mass participation in the programme. Huge rallies and public meetings took place in Burdwan, Berhampore, Balurghat, Chuchura, Siuri and other district headquarters on July 16.
In Kolkata, State Left Front chairman & CPI(M) state secretary Biman Basu and veteran Forward Bloc leader Ashok Ghosh, Manjukumar Majumdar (CPI), Khiti Goswami (RSP) and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Surjyakanta Misra were among those who courted arrest, followed by streams of Left Front activists from Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas. In the public meeting just before the court arrest, Left leaders called for a wider movement. Biman Basu sharply criticised the inaction of the state government in controlling the price rise. Ashoke Ghosh said the state was now heading for a disaster; this should be prevented through struggle.
The Left Front has announced that there will be a continuous movement against price rise. There will be dharnas from July 30. Throughout the month of August a massive campaign will be unleashed on the question of food security.
In the meantime, Left peasant organisations have started a signature campaign on their 14-point charter of demands which include fair prices for farmers and reduction of the prices of fertilisers and other agricultural inputs.
Left Front chairman Biman Basu said at the Kolkata programme, the Trinamool Congress-led government has failed to initiate any measures to check rising prices of essential commodities and had only set up a task force which had failed to deliver results.
“A year ago the State Government had set up a task force to check escalating prices. After this task force did nothing for an entire year, another task force has been set up,” Biman Basu said at the rally where leaders of the Left Front courted arrest in protest against the government’s inaction on rising prices.
He said the prices of essential commodities were spiralling out of control, but the State Government had failed to initiate any measures.
During the day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed satisfaction with the work done by the task force although hoarding in certain commodities continues to be a problem. Referring to her remarks, Basu said: “There is a vast difference in the government making announcements and actually taking measures to reduce prices.”
As large crowds of supporters thronged the venue of the rally, Biman Basu urged them to maintain discipline and only those who had been designated to court arrest should do so.
“This government has violated many rights of the people. You will get several opportunities to participate in protests where we shall court arrest,” Biman Basu told the supporters gathered there.
He said the State Government had failed to protect the rights of the people, to ensure the safety of women, curbed the freedom of Panchayats and caused their bureaucratization.
Biman Basu also said the Food Security Bill proposed by the Centre has several shortcomings and the four Left parties have sought amendments to the Bill.