West Bengal turns political battleground after strike call

As the Trinamool Congress-led government is gearing up its entire political and administrative machinery to foil the bandh, the CPI (M) after its massive success in its first rally after the defeat, is leaving no stone unturned to make the bandh a success.  But  what was a mere trade union protest has now turned into a political battleground.

 “Government has declared war against us by announcing it would foil Tuesday’s strike at any cost. Against this backdrop, we shall simply appeal to the people to make the general strike a success. We shall not apply force for a shutdown this time” Opposition leader Surya Kanta Mishra said.

The strike called by 11 trade unions was meant to be an industrial one dealing with the national issues, but with the recent success of CITU–the Left Front’s trade union, the bandh was converted from an industrial strike into a general one , thus taking on Mamata-led government after their humiliating defeat in the last Assembly polls.  

Though, Banerjee was apologitical in her statement while making an appeal to the people against the bandh, however, her ministers didn’t seem so.   “We (Trinamool Congress) had earlier done the same mistake by calling for strikes and shutdowns. Later, we realised that a problem cannot be solved by calling a strike. In the last two years, we have not called a single strike,” said Banerjee in an interview that was telecast on three Bengali news channels.

“I will appeal to the people not to respond to the strike and to attend offices as usual as steps have been taken for the normal functioning of trains, buses and trams,” she said.

“Trinamool Congress will not take to streets tomorrow (Tuesday) to counter strike. My government will not allow any forcible closure of shops and offices,” she said, asking pro-strike processions not to block roads. “If any government staff takes part in the strike, then the government will take steps against him/ her. All government employees should attend their respective offices. The former Left Front government used to help in making the strike a success. But we will not do it,” she said.

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