• Michael Laxer

Left parties in India issue joint call for national protests May 25-31


Image from mass Left Front rally in India, 2019


Five Left parties in India this past weekend (May 14) issued a joint call for nationwide mass protests between May 25-31 against rising prices and unemployment.


The statement was signed by Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist), D Raja, General Secretary, Communist Party of India, Debabrata Biswas, General Secretary, All India Forward Bloc, Manoj Bhattacharya, General Secretary, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)- Liberation.


Full statement:


Unabated galloping price rise is imposing unprecedented burdens on the people. Crores are suffering and are pushed into deeper poverty with growing hunger pangs. Coming on top of unprecedented and growing levels of unemployment, this is compounding people’s miseries.


Over the last year the prices of petroleum products have increased by 70 per cent, vegetables by 20 per cent, cooking oil by 23 per cent and cereals by 8 per cent. Wheat, the staple diet of crores of Indians, is seeing a price rise of over 14 per cent, making it unaffordable. Wheat procurement has declined. Central government has procured less than half of last year. This year procurement will not cross 20 Metric Tonnes as against the target of 44.4 Metric Tonnes.


The continuous hike in prices of petroleum products and cooking gas cylinders and the acute shortage of wheat is propelling this overall inflation. The reported Coal shortages are pushing up the cost of electricity.


Under these circumstances the Left Parties demand that the Central government must immediately withdraw all cess/surcharges on all petroleum products and roll back price hikes, particularly of cooking gas cylinders. Wheat supplies through the Public Distribution System (PDS) must be restored. The PDS must be strengthened to check this price rise.


Left Parties demand:

  • Roll back all surcharges/cess on petroleum products.

  • Restore wheat supplies through the Public Distribution System (PDS).

  • Strengthen the PDS by distributing all essential commodities particularly, pulses and edible oil.

  • Increase direct cash transfer to Rs. 7,500 per month to all non-Income Tax paying families.

  • Increase MGNREGS allocation. Legislate Central scheme for unemployment allowance.

  • Legislate an employment guarantee scheme for urban areas.

  • Fill up all vacant posts.

Left Parties directed all their units across the country to coordinate this united and concerted nationwide struggle against price rise and unemployment between 25-31 May.


Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist)


D Raja, General Secretary, Communist Party of India


Debabrata Biswas, General Secretary, All India Forward Bloc


Manoj Bhattacharya, General Secretary, Revolutionary Socialist Party


Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)- Liberation

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