Indian trade unions protest inflation, corruption

AP News
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Posted: Feb 23, 2011 7:24 AM
Indian trade unions protest inflation, corruption

Tens of thousands of trade union supporters marched through India's capital on Wednesday to express frustration with high food prices and endemic corruption.

At least 40,000 demonstrators, some coming by train from outside the capital, marched through the city toward Parliament, Delhi Traffic Police constable Sham Lal said. Organizers put the number of protesters at about 100,000.

Participants came from trade unions linked with both the opposition Communist Party and the governing Congress Party.

Many carried red Communist flags showing a hammer and sickle as they made their way down streets decorated in Communist Party posters.

They chanted anti-government slogans accusing the government of failing to curb inflation and corruption.

The government has been rocked by a series of scandals involving the sale of telecom licenses and the hosting of the Commonwealth Games. Inflation, meanwhile, has remained stubbornly high with the cost of vegetables up by nearly two-thirds in recent months _ compounding the hardships of India's hundreds of millions living in poverty.

The rally on Wednesday caused major traffic jams in New Delhi, as officials closed roads and diverted shipping trucks and buses.