Condemning the "unprecedented" hike in rail fares and freight charges, Left parties on Friday attacked the Narendra Modi government for pursuing the same policies of the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and demanded a roll back.
"This is a cruel blow to the working people who have been victims of relentless price hikes in the years of Congress misrule. Instead of bringing them some relief as promised in his election campaign, the Modi government has put a huge burden on the mass of people who use the Indian railways," the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI(M)) Politburo said in a statement.
"The increase in freight rates will have a cascading impact on prices of essential commodities which are transported by rail across the country," it said.
Maintaining that the Railway Budget is to be placed in Parliament in a few days, the CPI(M) said, "The government has taken such an anti-people step behind the back of Parliament. Earlier the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) used to condemn pre-budget hikes of the UPA government as anti-democratic. The Modi government has followed the same path."
Demanding a rollback of the hike, Communist Party of India (CPI) National Secretary D Raja said, "Within a month, the Modi government has started showing its true colours. On the one hand, it is siding with the corporate houses and taking stark anti-people measures on the other."
He asked how the new government was different from the UPA as the BJP regime was "pursuing the same policies of de- linking the hiking of rail fares from the budget. The government is yet to face Parliament for the budget. Such a huge increase will bring more burden on the common people. Where is Modi government's promise of good governance or good days," Raja said.
Both CPI(M) and CPI have asked all their state units to organise protests across the country on the issue.