Special Correspondent

``The sector is not listed as an essential service"

Picketing will not be permitted in Kolkata's IT hub: Chief MinisterNo wrong message being sent out to investors: CITU leader

Kolkata: The information technology (IT) sector has not been exempted from the purview of the nation-wide 24-hour general strike called by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and other Left trade unions on December 14 against the economic policies of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government.

Those who are keen to work would, however, not be stopped. "Nowhere in West Bengal will the strike be forcibly enforced. Force is not required in a State where people's participation is spontaneous," Shyamal Chakravarty, president of the State unit of the CITU, said here on Tuesday.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said arrangements would be made to ensure the normal functioning of the IT sector. Special transport would be provided for those wanting to go for work. Picketing would not be permitted in the city's IT hub.

By keeping the IT sector within the purview of the strike, Mr. Chakravarty said that no wrong message was being sent out to the corporate sector or prospective investors. "On the contrary, it is some within the State who are trying to send out such messages by opposing the acquisition of land for industry," he said, referring to the Opposition parties' protest against the automobile manufacturing plant in Singur.

The CITU leadership had requested the railway authorities to ensure that trains from outside do not enter the State on the bandh day "as it would inconvenience passengers," Mr. Chakravarty said. "No trains will run in the State," he added.