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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Over 200,000 protestors marched from the outskirts of the city to parliament square

New Delhi - Thousands of people in India's capital Wednesday joined a march organised by trade unions to protest rising food prices and unemployment.
Over 200,000 protestors marched from the outskirts of the city to parliament square, disrupting traffic in the city centre, the IANS news agency reported.








Eight major trade unions, including those led by the left parties and affiliates of the ruling Congress Party, leading partner in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, joined the protest.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's UPA government has been grappling with rising prices of food and other essential commodities for weeks, blaming them on poor weather conditions and supply bottlenecks.
Annual food inflation stood at 17.05 per cent at the end of last month.
The government has also been under pressure over a slew of corruption scandals.
The rally's organisers said the protest was aimed at drawing attention to the government's 'indifferent attitude' to rising prices and the issues of corruption and rising unemployment.
'We have come here to ask the government to have a stronger labour policy, to stop disinvestment of public sector units, and to address corruption and the issue of unemployment,' IANS quoted Gurudas Dasgupta, general secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress and leader of the Communist Party of India, as saying.
'This is the first time after independence that the left and non-left trade unions have come together for the cause of people,' Dasgupta said.
'The situation is bad. Disinvestment in factories has thrown out people from their jobs. We have raised voice against the laws that are against labourers,' said G Sanjeeva Reddy, president of the Congress Party-affiliated Indian National Trade Union Congress.
At least 10,000 employees of state-run defence organisations joined the rally, IANS reported.
Organisers said more than 2 million people attended the rally with demonstrators coming by bus and train from areas around Delhi.
A police spokesman said over 2,000 policemen had been deployed to control the crowds but he gave no estimate of the numbers attending the protest march.

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