Price Rise: CPI(M) threatens direct action against hoarders in Himachal

Shimla: Runaway prices of essential commodities has activated Communist Party of India (Marxists) here who are intent upon intensifying their stir, declaring that inaction by the government against hoarders would make them resort to direct action by picketing black-marketers and hoarding stockists.

Holding both the UPA government at the centre and the BJP government in the state responsible for the ‘uncontrolled price rise’ Rakesh Singha, CPI(M) state secretary told reporters “botched up food policies of these governments have caused a crisis that could precipitate hunger deaths and suicides in the hill state.”

“Having lived through 3 crop failures and staring in the face of another one has broken the farming community’s back and the country’s two largest political parties, congress and BJP are playing food politics,” he said.

After having held two public rallies at Shimla and Mandi in December and January in protest of prices rise, starting Monday CPI(M) has planned state wide demonstrations and rallies to exert pressure on the government to act.

“Whereas the central government has reduced the state’s public distribution system (PDS) rice quota by 36.11 percent (1 lakh tons) since 2007 and the state government from 1st February has announced increase of prices of Urad Daal under an food subsidized scheme from Rs 30 to 35/- per Kg,” said Singha.

Governments that swear by ‘Aam Adami’ have become insensitive to the needs of the poor as high food prices are only making the rich richer and the poor poorer, he added.

Calling for a change in law whereby displaying of food stocks by wholesalers and retailers should be made mandatory, the CPI(M) secretary held that the state government had failed to act against hoarders.

Seriousness of the state government can be gauged from the fact that out of an staff strength of 505, there are 239 positions lying vacant in the food and civil supply department. With such a shortfall, how can the essential commodities act be enforced, he questioned.

“Should the government fail to act, our party will resort to direct action by picketing black-marketers and hoarders, and food will be distributed to the poor people,” said Singha.

To contain prices, the party has asked for moving out of neo-liberal policies that favour corporate houses and industry over farming communities, and sought immediate removal of food items from forward trading in the country.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

1 Comment

  • CPI(M) doesn’t have mass appeal and with watered down version of the dynamic Mr Rakesh Singha of the 80’s, CPI(M) is not a force to recon with in HP. Not sure if it is a stunt planned to get some spot light and garner sympathy post the demise of the tiger of bangal (whatever). Unless everybody (the opposition/general public) is serious I don’t see much happening.

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