Resorting to bandhs was a mistake, says Mamata | india | Hindustan Times
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Resorting to bandhs was a mistake, says Mamata

Resorting to bandhs during her opposition days was a mistake, chief minister Mamata Banerjee admitted today, just a day before the showdown between her govt and the CPI(M) plays out on the streets of Bengal centering the Feb 28 industrial strike. HT reports.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2012 00:04 IST
HT Correspondent

After years of making her presence felt with a string of strikes in West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee finds the shoe is on the other foot.

A day before the opposition CPM plans to hit the streets with an industrial strike, the CM admitted that resorting to bandhs during her days in the opposition was a mistake.

Over the past few days, Banerjee has been busy urging people to keep the wheels moving on Tuesday. Her transport minister has even issued all manners of threat to 10 lakh government employees to ensure that they turn up for work on February 28.

On Monday, during a televison interview, Banerjee said, “I made a mistake by calling bandhs earlier, but I have rectified later”.

The statement was reminiscent of her predecessor, former CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who had opposed the culture of bandh his party had started.

He had not stopped at criticising the CPM’s fondness for bandhs but had even publicly lamented belonging to such a party. His comments, however, invariably came ahead a strike call by Banerjee's Trinamool Congress — which almost beat the CPM at its own game.

Between 1998 and 2007, as an opposition leader, Banerjee had called a string of strikes that crippled the state. The worst was a 48-hour bandh on December 21-22, 2006, which she had called against the murder of Tapasi Malik in Singur.

She was often criticised by investors and chambers of commerce for this kind of politics.

After winning Bengal in 2009, Banerjee had announced her abhorrence for bandhs, but such a formal admission of “mistake” is a first.