Ludhiana, September 20, 2012: As a part of the call for nationwide Bandh by left and democratic parties to protest against the increase in prices of diesel, limiting the subsidised LPG to 6 cylinders and FDI in retail, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI) took out a demonstration from Railway Station to Books Market to Clock Tower Chowk Ludhiana today.
They held a rallies in between and final at the Clock Tower Chowk which was addressed among others by Com Charan Singh Virdi – State Secretary CPI (M), Com. Kartar Singh Bowani District Secretary CPI, Com. Sukhvinder-district secretary CPI(M) , Com Jatinder-General Secretary CITU, Dr Arun Mitra-Assistant Secretary CPI District Ludhiana, Com O P Mehta- City Secreary CPI, Com. D.P.Maur Assistant Secretary CPI Com Gulzar Goria- General Secretary Khet Mazdoor Sabha Punjab, Com Jagdish, Com. Gurnam Gill, Com Devraj.
Various speakers addressing the rally said that it is bolt from the blue for the common man already reeling under difficulties due to exorbitant increase in prices of essential items in the past. Increase in the diesel price will lead to increase in the freight of commodities which will add to their prices. There will also be increase in the bus, local transport and rail fares. Taxis have already announced increase in the rates. It is a mockery that the Punjab government has maximum VAT because of which Petrol is already costly by about 7 rupees in our state in comparison to neighbouring states. He further added that Limiting the LPG to 6 cylinders will lead to serious difficulties as on an average a family uses 20 cylinders in a year. Purchasing 14 cylinders will be highly taxing to the common man. FDI in retail will ruin large number of small traders and shop keepers. The myth of benefit to farmers is totally false as these companies will tie up with the farmers at their terms. They will decide quality of the produce of the farmers who will be left to the mercy of these companies for fixing the price of their produce. In case of any calamity affecting the agriculture production these companies will not at all be liable to the farmers. The farmers will have to compulsorily sell goods to these companies. FDI in telecommunication will give control of the propaganda machinery to the foreign countries which will be highly detrimental to our national interests. This is reminiscent of the East India company he said. It is an irony that our freedom fighters fought against the foreign companies but the present government is inviting and giving them free hand in our country.
They demanded that the government should create a reserve fund to meet the price issue of petrol etc. They also demanded that the Punjab government should reduce its tax on these items which is one among the highest in the country. This will also ease the situation to some extent for the people of Punjab. Govt. should instead of pleasing the corporate sector take steps to prevent malnutrition and provide basic minimum food supplements to the common man.
Others who addressed include Comrades Hanuman Parsad Dubey, Amarjit Mattu, Sukhminder Lotey, Kewal Singh, Ramesh Rattan, Kameshwar Yadav, Laddu Shah, Ram Chander, Ram Singh, Gurnam Sidhu, Buta Singh.