A MASSIVE rally recorded protest of the people against the skyrocketing price rise of essential commodities in Kolkata on  November 18. The rally marched through busy parts of central Kolkata and was encouraged by the people. The rally conveyed the message to the state government that if they fail to address the crisis, the Left parties will launch more spirited and consolidated movement in near future.
Addressing the huge gathering at the end of the protest march Biman Basu, CPI(M) state secretary and chairman of West Bengal Left Front Committee, said that the rally was part of continuous movement by Left Front to protest the ever increasing prices. Accusing both the centre and the TMC for the on-going price rise, he added both governments actually embraced the neo-liberal economic policies that have led to the rise in prices of essential commodities. He further criticsed the state government’s fixation of potato price so that cold storage owners, potato business groups and middle men are allowed to make spiraling profit. He also pointed out to the grave condition of law and order in the state.
Leader of the opposition in the assembly, Surjya Kanta Mishra said that only the Left parties actually fought against the price rise and they will do the same thing in the future. Criticising the chief minister’s stand of accusing the central policy, he asked that who partnered the central government. The present CM of Bengal was part of the central government for a considerable period – both in the UPA and the NDA. She was part of the cabinet which took the decision of decontrolling petroleum products. Newly introduced entry tax is also facilitating the price rise of essential commodities. The people of the state have also been experiencing TMC tax the people at every step, he added. The people will be facing even more problems after the decontrolling of prices of sugar and fertilizer, said Surjya Kanta Mishra. He also said that there is enough potato reserved in the cold storages. Still the state government created such a situation where trucks full with potato are crossing borders by following roundabout routes. He gave a call for the consolidation of the Left forces to combat the critical situation.
The Left Front members tried to raise the issue of price rise in the state assembly too, which was blocked by the government side. They were not allowed to raise the adjournment motion and even the members were not allowed to deliberate on price rise. The Left Front staged a walk out on the issue. Left Front members raised slogans in the assembly house.
Kolkata, November 20, 2013