Opposition trying to foment lawlessness: Bengal government

ArrayKolkata, Aug 31 (IANS) Terming the nationwide September 2 strike called by a majority of central trade unions as a “political conspiracy”, the West Bengal government on Monday accused the opposition parties of fomenting lawlessness in the staste and appealed to the people to attend offices and follow the normal routine.

“Until now, their charter of demands and grounds of protest is not clear. It is a political conspiracy and I urge people to oppose the shutdown,” state Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee told media persons here.

Alleging the opposition led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist is trying to create lawlessness in the state and the shutdown is aimed at furthering such a goal, he assured people of assistance in case they faces trouble from the strike sponsors on Wednesday.

“We are against the strike. The administration will work to maintain peace in the state. If someone who wants to go to office faces trouble, the administration will help them”, he said.

Mukherjee said the state government and the ruling party Trinamool Congress will try to make people aware about the futility of the industrial strike – which he claimed is not in the “best interest of people”.

“We’ll try to make the labourers understand that it (September 2 strike) is not in their interest and the government and the party is looking into the issues faced by them”, he said.

Mukherjee compared the supporters of strike led by the Left Front here to the Kauravas (in Mahabharat) and Adolf Hitler.

“Since historical times – from the Kauravas to Hitler – the warmongers have always been defeated first,” he said.

CPI-M-backed Centre for Indian Trade Union state president Shyamal Chakraborty had on Sunday warned the state administration of retaliation in case the administration uses force to thwart the strike.

“If she (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) wants a war, we are ready for that,” he had said.

On its official website, the Trinamool said the govrrnment will run additional fleet of buses and government offices, including those provided with grants-in aid by the state government, will remain open.

“Leaves are never granted to state government employees who go on any strike. Like previous occasions, government would issue circular directing employees to compulsorily report to work,” the statement said.

Chakraborty, however, has downplayed the stance taken by the government. “Issuing circulars to government officials and workers is nothing new. There is nothing to worry about,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Left trade unions, together with the Congress-backed INTUC has stepped up campaigning for making the strike a success. “We have received overwhelming support and will push ahead with the demands. It is in the interest of workers and we are sure about its (strike’s) success,” senior CITU leader Jibon Roy told IANS.

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