New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) The Samajwadi Party, TDP, BJD, the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and the Left Saturday called for nationwide protests Sep 20 against the government's new round of economic reforms.
In what could turn out to be the seeds of a possible Third Front, leaders of eight parties called for "hartals, picketing, demonstrations and court arrest programmes" that day.
"Let us all unite to stop these measures which will further burden the people and ruin their livelihood," a statement released jointly by these leaders said.
The statement was signed by Mulayam Singh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), H.D. Deve Gowda (JD-S), Prakash Karat (CPI-M), S. Sudhakar Reddy (CPI), Naveen Patnaik (BJD), N. Chandrababu Naidu (TPD), Debabrata Biswas (Forward Bloc) and T.J. Chandrachoodan (RSP).
The statement accused the Congress-led UPA government of striking "cruel blows on the people one after another.
"It has raised the price of diesel by Rs.5 per litre, stoking price rise and burdening the farmers.
"It has limited the subsidised gas cylinder per family to six and the rest will have to be bought at the market price which is more than double.
"It has opened the multi-brand retail trade to foreign supermarket chains, endangering the livelihood of more than four crore people occupied 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 appealed to people, farmers, workers, women, youths, transporters, shopkeepers, traders organisations and "patriotic people" to join the "struggle" against the new round of economic reforms.