Trinamool Congress on Saturday firmly opposed the 12-hour strike in West Bengal called by the left parties on November 28, even as the Left Front justified the shutdown saying it is necessary to register protest against demonetisation.
“The Left Front is actually trying to help BJP on demonetisation and that is why they have called this strike to increase the sufferings of the masses. They should have refrained from calling the strike,” TMC general secretary Subrata Bakshi said.
“On November 28, the TMC will take out a rally from College Square to Esplanade to protest against demonetisation,” he told reporters after the party’s core committee meeting.
“Mamatadi had expressed her displeasure over the strike call and said that people don’t support strikes and bandhs,” he said. State Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari said his department would run 2,600 more buses to maintain normalcy during the bandh.
“Government will pay compensation if any vehicle got damaged during the bandh period”, he said.
Justifying the shutdown, Left Front chairman Biman Bose said, “the strike call is necessary to register protest against demonetisation which caused sufferings to the people. We have kept banks, ATMs, health and milk outside the ambit of the strike. So that people don’t face any problem”.
Commenting on TMC’s opposition to the strike, CPIM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said, “we are happy that TMC is not supporting the strike call. We have given the call to oppose the anti-people decision of the Centre. Whoever is serious about the issue will not oppose the strike call”.
State Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury said that his party decided to extend moral support to the strike by Left parties.
West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh, however, said they will see whether the TMC is really serious about foiling the strike called by the Left.
“Recently we have seen them working together as friends against us in Delhi. So we want to see whether TMC really practice what they preach,” he said.
Opposing Monday’s strike call by Left parties against demonetisation, the West Bengal government today ordered all its employees to attend offices on November 28 and the following day.
“No employee of the state government will be granted leave on that day. In the event of any employee remaining absent without sufficient reason, the absence will be treated as dies non,” Chief Secretary Basudeb said.
The state finance department has issued a circular stating that all employees would be required to attend office on Monday and Tuesday and exceptions would be made only in case of bereavement, maternity leave, hospitalisation and other ‘genuine reasons’.
An employee failing to attend on both the days would compromise a day’s pay barring reasons other than above, he said.
“We oppose bandhs. We will take out a protest march (against demonetisation) on Monday,” state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters while leaving the state secretariat ‘Nabanna’ this evening.
The state government would take all measures to maintain law and order and normal functioning of public services, the Chief Secretary said.
He said that all the offices, agencies and institutions of the state government would remain open on Monday and steps would be taken to ensure and security of citizens and their properties.