West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said she will skip the opposition meeting convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to protest against the violence unleashed in the state allegedly by Left Front and Congress workers during yesterday’s trade union strike.
Banerjee said “double standards” of the Left Front and Congress will not be tolerated.
“I have decided to boycott the meeting convened by Sonia Gandhi on January 13 in New Delhi as I don’t support the violence that the Left and Congress unleashed in West Bengal yesterday (Wednesday),” the chief minister was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Sonia Gandhi has called a meeting of opposition parties, including the Left, to discuss the situation arising out of violence on various university campuses and protests in the country over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.
On Wednesday, the 24-hour nationwide strike by central trade unions against the Centre’s “anti-people” policies was marred by incidents of violence and arson, blocking of railway tracks and roads by protesters trying to enforce the shutdown in West Bengal. The strike was called by trade unions INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC, along with various sectoral independent federations and associations. A total of 170 people were arrested from across the state.
The Trinamool Congress also took out rallies opposing the strike in some places in north Bengal. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee slammed the Left Front and the Congress for violence and vandalism, saying those who don’t have any political existence in the state are trying to ruin its economy by resorting to “cheap politics” of bandh. “This is dadagiri, not a protest. I condemn this…” she said.
with PTI inputs