Saturday, September 15, 2012

Nationwide strike on 20th September against petro hike and FDI

Update : The CPIM led left front has called a 12 hour general strike in West Bengal and Tripura on the same day (20/09/12) protesting the centre's "anti people"  decisions. The TMC led state Govt. in West Bengal, though opposing petro hike and FDI , declared to oppose the strike and maintain normalcy in the state.
Opposition to the Congress-led UPA Government’s decision to raise the price of diesel, ration the supply of LPG cylinders and open up the multi-brand retail sector to FDI snowballed on Saturday. Barring a handful of of its minor allies, the Congress stands virtually isolated on both issues.
The BJP-led NDA will hold a country-wide protest on September 20 protesting against the decision to hike diesel price and allow FDI in multi-brand retail. All major opposition parties will be joining the September 20 countrywide strike.

Announcing the alliance’s decision in New Delhi, BJP leader L K Advani said on Saturday, “NDA has decided to hold a nation-wide strike on 20th of this month. I am sure that the suffocation felt by the people for a long time is about to come to an end.”
Addressing the press with Sushma Swaraj and other senior leaders of the coalition, he said, “It would be prudent and wise for the government itself to decide that they do not wait till 2014 for the people to give their opinion about the UPA government. Let them call for an early election. Let the people make a decision.”
Stating that the Government should be allowed to rethink over all its acts, the BJP leader said “if they are able to do that on their own by giving resignation– the Lok Sabha elections are also due shortly– I think it will be fine.”
He said no political party’s consent was taken by the government before making these announcements.
“They have not consulted any political party and Chief Minister and have announced this suddenly. This is something which the country is not going to take lying down,” Advani said.
He said NDA leaders have talked “informally” to other political parties and “I think the 20th September strike will be spontaneous and successful”.
“This is the betrayal of Parliament, people and thousands of traders in the country,” Advani alleged.
The Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress  and Janata Dal (S) have also decided to join the Left parties, the TDP and the BJD in the nationwide “powerful” protest next Thursday.
In a joint statement, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and others alleged that the UPA Government has “struck cruel blows on the people one after another” by raising diesel price, limiting subsidised cooking gas, opening up of multi-brand retail and disinvestment of PSUs.
The joint statement, however, does not mention about Friday’s government decision allowing FDI in aviation and broadcasting.
“Let us all unite to stop these measures which will further burden the people and ruin their livelihood. Let there be a powerful protest on September 20 through hartals, picketing, demonstrations and court arrest programmes,” the statement said.
Besides Yadav, the statement was signed by H D Deve Gowda (JD-S), Prakash Karat (CPM), S Sudhakar Reddy (CPI), Naveen Patnaik (BJD), Chandrababu Naidu (TDP), Debabrata Biswas (Forward Bloc) and T J Chandrachoodan (RSP).
SP and JD(S), which are supporting the UPA Government from outside, have been critical of the Government’s decisions. They along with Left parties had earlier written a joint letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on price hike issue.
“It (UPA) has raised the price of diesel by Rs five per litre, burdening the farmers. It has limited subsidised gas cylinder per family to six and the rest will have to be bought at market price which is more than double.
“It has opened multi-brand retail trade to foreign supermarket chains, endangering livelihood of more than four crore people involved in retail trade and the mass of consumers. It is selling off shares of profitable PSUs and navaratna companies like NALCO and Oil India,” the statement said.
Asking public to protest the “anti-people measures”, the leaders appealed to farmers, workers, women, youths, transporters, shopkeepers, traders organisations and all “patriotic-minded citizens” to join the movement.
Meanwhile, having taken Trinamool Congress chief’s 72-hour deadline seriously, the Congress is trying to persuade her to give up her opposition against FDI in retail. But the West Bengal Chief Minister is determined and has even urged the trading community in the state to build up mass opinion against the Centre’s “anti-people policies”.
“You should build up your organisations from grassroots level and seek strong public opinion against anti-people policies like FDI in multi-brand retail,” the Chief Minister said after a meeting of the task force on price rise.
Banerjee said that traders would be hard hit by the Centre’s decision on allowing FDI entry in retail.
According to General Secretary of the Forum of Traders’ Organisations Rabindranath Koley, Mamata Banerjee took stock of the price situation and expressed satisfaction that prices of most commodities were under control.
Union Minister and Congress party leader Vayalar Ravi on Saturday said, “I have seen the news report. I do not want to comment. She is one of our (UPA) partners, naturally she said something (the demand), government will take it seriously and concerned leaders will talk to her (to win her over)”, Ravi told reporters in Bangalore.

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