Support protests against CAA, NRC but not bandh: Mamata

Support protests against CAA, NRC but not bandh: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee. (PTI photo)

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she was all in favour of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, but her party will not resort to the "cheap politics" of bandhs.

The Left parties had on December 26 last year called for a nationwide strike on January 8 and a seven-day protest from January 1 against the CAA, National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Banerjee, speaking at an administrative meeting in Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas district, said she will not back any bandh, as it causes trouble for people and loss to the exchequer.

Later in the day, while talking to reporters at Gangasagar, Banerjee said the Trinamool Congress has been protesting against the CAA, NRC and the NPR, but it is against the call for a strike, as it is "cheap politics".

"We are not in favour of bandh, but extend our support to the issues for which the strikes are called. We will continue our protests but don't support cheap politics.

"Why should we call a bandh when the country is going through an economic disaster and unemployment is increasing," the CM said.

Ten central trade unions on Monday said around 25 crore people will participate in a nationwide strike on January 8 to protest against the government's "anti-people" policies.

Banerjee also asked state government officials to take measures to ensure normalcy on January 8.

Reacting to Banerjee's remarks, Anandi Sahu, senior CPI(M) leader and the state general secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), said that any attempt to foil the strike would be met with resistance.

"There is no difference between the economic policies of the Narendra Modi government and the Mamata Banerjee government, and that is why attempts are being made to foil the strike," Sahu said. 

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