फ़रवरी 23, 2011

Two lakh peoples protest against high food prices , unemployment and corruption

Indian rally raises pressure on UPA 

The demonstrations in the national capital came just a few days before the Union Budget and put pressure on the beleaguered Manmohan Singh government to address core concerns of the common man.

200000 peoples have gathered in the Indian capital, Delhi, to take part in a rally to protest against rising food prices ,  unemployment , rampant corruption , labour law violations and disinvestment. .
A steady stream of protesters, carrying red flags, has been marching through the streets of central Delhi since early morning.
Marchers came from trade unions ( the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and the Centre for Industrial Trade Union (CITU) linked both with the opposition Communist Party and with the governing Congress Party and other six major trade unions. 
Many carried red Communist flags showing a hammer and sickle as they made their way down streets decorated in Communist Party posters. “Prices will now kill the common man”, read one banner.
.The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) - which is backed by the governing Congress party - is also supporting the strike saying it wants to remind the government about its commitments to the poor.

Addressing the gathering at Parliament Street, AITUC general secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said: “We have come here to ask the government to have a stronger labour policy, to stop disinvestment of public sector units and to address corruption and the issue of unemployment. This is the first time after Independence that the Left and non-Left trade unions have come together for the cause of the people.”
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat and Communist Party of India leader D. Raja were present
The president of the Congress-affiliated INTUC, G. Sanjeeva Reddy, said the trade union was participating in the rally because of price rise and unemployment. “The situation is bad. Disinvestment in factories has thrown people out of jobs. We have raised our voice against the laws that are against labourers.” On increasing attacks by the government on the rights of the workers, AIUTUC president Krishna Chakraborty stressed the need to forge working class unity to build up effective pressure on the Centre to accept the demands put forward by the central trade unions.
Speakers demanded universalisation of social security for unorganised workers. They accused the government of ignoring the needs of the working people and pursuing policies like deregulation of petroleum prices leading to price rise.
Demands were raised for the prices of essential commodities to be contained through steps like universal public distribution system and containing speculation in the commodity market.

Enforcement of all basic labour laws, employment protection in recession stricken sectors and creations of jobs by increasing pubic investment in infrastructure were also emphasised on. Representatives from the trade unions met the Lok Sabha Speaker and presented a memorandum and asked the issues be raised in Parliament.

in addition to high food prices, the government is under pressure from several corruption scandals.The opposition has been seeking to capitalise on the weakening position of Mr Singh, who is reeling from a spate of corruption scandals that threaten to undermine his reputation for integrity. His ability to manage the economy is also being called into question as India battles the highest inflation of any major Asian economy . India has been grappling with double-digit food inflation with millions of poor citizens hit the hardest.

The UPA II has failed to check rising prices with inflation staying well above the comfort level of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with only a month to go in the current fiscal year.
The central bank has raised interest rates seven times in less than a year, while the benchmark wholesale price inflation still stands stubbornly above 8%. Food inflation is running at over 11%.

Wednesday's protests in New Delhi came a day after Prime Minister Singh gave in to calls for a parliamentary probe into a multi-billion-dollar telecommunications scandal involving the sale of mobile phone licenses which has led to a police probe and the arrest of his former telecom minister, A. Raja.

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