Massive Response to Protest Day

Thursday, September 20, 2012
Press Statement
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) congratulates the people for the massive response to the protest day on September 20, 2012.  Eight parties had given a call for observing the day through hartal, picketing and court arrests against the steep rise  in prices of diesel, limiting of gas cylinders and opening retail trade to FDI.  The NDA had also called for a bandh on this day.
The hartal has been successful in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and other states.
In West Bengal, there was a total strike.  Vehicles and traffic was off the roads; shops and markets were closed; workers in the industrial establishments and tea gardens were on strike and schools and colleges were closed.  The strike call was implemented despite attacks on Left Front workers by TMC goons in a number of places.
In Tripura, there was a complete bandh all over the  state with all offices, markets and educational institutions closed.
In Kerala, a hartal was observed on September 15, therefore the day was observed through protest marches in all the 140 assembly constituencies under the banner of the Left and Democratic Front.
In Delhi, leaders of the eight parties among them Mulayam Singh Yadav, H. D. Deve Gowda, Chandrababu Naidu, Prakash Karat, S. Sudhakar Reddy, A. B. Bardhan, Ram Gopal Yadav and Sitaram Yechury courted arrest at Parliament Street.
In Tamilnadu, Left leaders and cadres conducted picketing in 200 places. More than 50,000 protestors were arrested.
In Odisha, the BJD has called for a protest day on September 17 due to the Nuakhai festival in western Odisha.  The Left parties and the Samajwadi party called for a hartal on September 20 which was observed widely with transport, shops and commercial establishments closed. 
In Maharashtra, there was no strike in Mumbai because of Ganesh Chaturthi. Protest demonstrations and local strikes took place in various cities and towns.

The widespread support for the hartal manifested the anger of the people against the anti-people measures taken by the UPA government.  The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands of the Manmohan Singh government  that it cancel the FDI in retail, the disinvestment of public sector shares, rollback the price hike  of diesel and restriction on gas cylinders.  The struggle against these anti-people measures should be intensified in the coming days.