CPI(M) for third front in Himachal politics

Shimla: Setting aside ideological differences, the Communist Party of India (Marxists) today declared intentions of experimenting with a third front for breaking the stranglehold of BJP-Congress polarity in Himachal politics.

CPI(M) spokesman Tikender Panwar let Hill Post know that the people’s disillusionment with the political play of BJP and Congress had emboldened them to explore bringing together like-minded people and parties to have a third front in Himachal.

“It would broaden the choice for the voter and at the same time help to break the stranglehold the two parties have on the states polity,” he said.

Earlier, party general secretary Rakesh Singha before media announced the party’s action plan of launching direct protest actions from 9th January.

“A statewide call for a first struggle on three burning issues has been made,” said Singha.

The issues against which the party has decided to agitate are shutting down of 108 fair price shops, higher prices of cement in the state in comparison to Punjab and Haryana and retrospect steep increase in domestic electricity tariffs.

CPI(M) does not intend to carry out a postmortem of the BJP government on completion of four years of misrule as it has failed on all fronts, because of its pro rich outlook,” said the party general secretary.

Pointing out the incentives provided to cement industry, Singha claimed that cements units had obtained transport concessions amounting to Rs 247.23 crore, excise duty exemptions worth Rs 135 crore in 10 years, besides relaxations in VAT collections of over Rs 16 crores.

Yet, even though the cement manufacturing units are in Himachal, but cement retail price in the state is anywhere between Rs 320 to Rs 410 per bag whereas the same 50 Kg bag costs between Rs 295 and 300 in Punjab and Haryana, he said.

Abdicating all governance, the government’s role has been reduced to a supervisory one of merely monitoring the central schemes of MNREGA, NRHM, PMGSY, Bharat Nirman and others, he added.

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