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SUCI calls for a bandh today,Mamata opposes

Back in business — the state will experience its first bandh of 2009 on Thursday.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | January 22, 2009 2:24:35 am

Back in business — the state will experience its first bandh of 2009 on Thursday. Courtesy: the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) — a small Left party and an ally of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress — who has called the 12-hour Bangla bandh protesting against price rise and demanding reduction in bus fares.

Though Mamata has opposed the bandh,SUCI believes that the bandh will by and large be successful. “We do not want to go for a bandh. SUCI is a different political party and can call a bandh on its own,” said Mamata.

The party plans to disrupt railway services and has asked its cadres to block busy roads throughout the city.

The SUCI had joined Trinamool-led West Bengal Democratic Secular Front and had shared seats in the May 2008 panchayat polls.

The SUCI has taken strong exception to Mamata’s decision of not supporting the bandh even though the party was now a part of the common platform Mamata had launched to fight the CPM in the state.

The SUCI,on the other hand,is being criticised by a number of Left Front partners for calling the bandh in a very calculated manner.

“The bandh has been called on Thursday,when Friday is a holiday owing to Netaji’s birthday. Saturday,too,is government holiday. This will be followed by Republic Day celebrations,” said Jyotiprasad Basu,leader of CPM backed state government employees union.

“The SUCI has taken advantage of this and called the bandh on Thursday to enable the government employees to enjoy their holidays,” he added.

To this,Prabhas Ghosh,a SUCI leader said: “We wanted to hold the bandh on January 19. But a state government employees organisation had requested us to call the bandh on Thursday as they had some agitation programme slated for January 19.”

The CPI (Maoist) has also called a 24-hour bandh on the same day condemning police actions in Lalgarh and other parts of West Midnapore.

The traders,meanwhile,fear that normal business will be disrupted to a great extent. Mahesh Singhania,chairman of West Bengal Federation of Trade Association,said: “We are opposed to the bandh. Traders will be forced to shut down their shops. Though some of the demands of the protestors may be reasonable,but bandh is not the solution.”

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