Other States

No bandh in Bengal, says Chief Minister

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.  

‘There are other means to protest and highlight demands’

Two days before the all-India general strike called by the Left trade unions, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said there will be no strike in the State.

Several trade unions affiliated to the Left parties and the Congress had called for a bandh against the economic policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre on January 8. The demands of the trade unions include protection of public sector units and increase in minimum wages. The unions will also protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Speaking to journalists after an administrative review meeting at Ganga Sagar, Ms. Banerjee said though she supports the issues, she will not allow any bandh in the State.

Watch | 'Bharat Bandh' on January 8, 2020
 

‘Poor will suffer’

“There will be no bandh in Bengal. Ever since we came to power we have not allowed any bandh in the State. What will happen due to bandh? Thousands of crores will be wasted and the poor will suffer,” she said.

The Chief Minister said there were other means to protest and highlight their demands rather than calling a strike or bandh.

Earlier in the day, a notification by the West Bengal government said that “no casual leave for absence either in the first half or in the second half of the day or for the whole day or any other leave shall be granted to any employee on the said date”. The notification said any absence on January 8 will be treated as “dies non” and no salary will be administered for the said date.

‘Will resist’

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and State general secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) the labour wing of the party, Anandi Sahu said any attempt to forcibly foil the strike will 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,” Mr. Sahu said. The CITU leader said that a march organised by the Left trade unions last month from Asansol to Kolkata was a success and he expects that the 24-hour strike will have spontaneous support of the people.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 7:18:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/no-bandh-in-bengal-says-chief-minister/article30497736.ece

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