Expressing her government’s resolve to keep life normal in West Bengal during the 24-hour nationwide general strike tomorrow,Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today warned of steps,including break in service,in case of absence from duty by government employees.
Assuring of steps to keep life normal during the strike tomorrow,Banerjee said the state government’s measures had been intimated to the Calcutta High Court also.
“I will appeal to the people not to respond to the strike and to attend offices as usual as steps have been taken to run trains,trams,buses to facilitate passenger movement,” she told a TV channel.
“Trinamool Congress will not take to streets tomorrow to counter strike. My government will not allow any forcible closure of shops and offices,” she said,asking pro-strike processions not to block roads.
Calling for an end to politics of bandh which causes enormous loss to the state exchequer,Banerjee said,”We also called bandhs when we were in the opposition in the past,but later realised its futility. We think people have forgiven us for correcting ourselves.”
She said that her government would no longer allow any bandh politics in the state which had witnessed state-sponsored shutdowns in the past.
Lashing out at the CPI(M) and Left parties Mamata said,”They have taken up the weapon of bandhs as a life-long method in the last 35 years.”
She further said,”It is proven that strikes and bandhs had caused colossal loss to the state exchequer in the past…We in the government only know how difficult it is to run a government with an empty exchequer.”
“Since we took over reins of the state,not a single paise assistance came from the Centre. Except us,none would have dared to run a government in such a critical financial condition,” Banerjee said.
“While our state’s revenue from tax collection is Rs 21,000 crore,we have been paying interest to the Centre to the tune of Rs 22,000 crore on the outstanding debt of Rs 2.03 lakh crore,” she added.
The chief minister said she was assured by retail traders,railway unions and transport operators of keeping life normal tomorrow.
Banerjee said the strikes had a negative impact on the state’s economy “and it is widely felt everywhere”.
“Strikes and bandhs are expressions of frustration and it serves only vested interests,” Banerjee said.
Referring to the recent Brigade Parade Ground rally by the CPI-M in the city,Banerjee said,”The party spent crores of rupees earned from the loot of the exchequer.”
Reacting to Mamata’s remarks against strike,Congress spokesperson Renuka Chaudhary said,”It is good news if TMC is opposing the strike. I am sure she has her own reasons to do so. We appreciate her stand.”
On the question of the labour wing of Congress INTUC joining the strike,Chaudhary said,”The working of a labour organization and that of a political party is altogether different. We should not mix these two systems with each other. INTUC is playing their role and we are playing ours”.