West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee gave her seal of approval to the NDA-sponsored all-India strike against the Centre’s reform moves on Thursday. But the Left Front was censured for protesting in the state with a 12-hour bandh.
“The common people have supported the bandh. I congratulate them. Everybody has supported it because the issues were genuine,” remarked Banerjee.
But the bandh failed in Kolkata and Bengal, she added. “The Left used to call bandhs frequently, often a day a month. (But) Work culture has now returned to the state. As many as 89% employees came to work at Writers’ Buildings (the state secretariat).”
On Wednesday evening, the state government had issued a notification that made it clear that if employees did not turn up for work, they would be liable to lose a day’s salary.
Banerjee, who became synonymous with frequent bandhs and disruptive politics when the Left was in power, also tried hard to explain why her party decided to oppose the strike in Bengal. “A party that is in power cannot support a bandh,” she said. “We have already taken a difficult decision and announced withdrawal from the Centre. There is no need to call a bandh.”