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UPA-II report card shows no pass marks: Buddhadeb

Ananya Dutta


Prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas also likely to be hiked

Centre wants to leave food prices to the market forces: Buddhadeb


— Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

The former West Bengal Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, addresses a Left Front rally called to protest price rise, in Kolkata on Tuesday.

KOLKATA: Pointing to the large-scale corruption and escalating prices of essential commodities, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, a member of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said here on Tuesday that upon completion of two years of the second United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the report card reflected the fact that the Central government “had not even managed pass marks.”

“Upon the completion of two years of Dr. Manmohan Singh's government a report card has come out. No one can read that report card and say that the government has even received pass marks with escalating prices on the one hand and corruption on the other,” the former Chief Minister of West Bengal said at a rally called by the Left Front, the first since the results of the elections to the State Assembly were announced on May 13.

‘Anti-people' policies

The rally had been called to protest the ‘anti-people' policies of the Centre and the attacks on supporters and offices of the Left parties after the results were announced.

“The Prime Minister and Union Finance Minister are both clueless about when the escalating prices will be brought down. The more they say prices will come down, the more prices shoot up,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said.

He said fuel prices had been increased eight times in the two years the second UPA government had been in power. He also said that after the latest increase in petrol prices, it was likely that the prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas would also be hiked.

“On the latest increase in petrol prices Union Finance Minster Pranab Mukherjee made an absurd statement claiming that it was the oil companies and not the Centre that had increased prices. But these companies are owned by the Central government,” he said.

Mr. Bhattacharjee said the Left Front demanded that the Centre not increase fuel prices any further. It wanted the government to implement universal public distribution, continue subsidies, withdraw the decontrol on prices of petrol and rein in prices of essential commodities, he said.

“Centre against ration system”

“They [the Centre] are against a ration system. They want to leave it to the market where the rule is that those who have money will eat and those who do not have money will starve. This is the face of the Central government,” he said.

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