Kolkata, April 13 (PTI) The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) today mocked opposition Left Front over the six-hour bandh call, which failed to evoke any response in the state, and said people have rejected the “strike culture”.
Accusing the TMC of “throttling democracy” and unleashing a “reign of terror” to prevent opposition candidates from filing nominations for next month’s panchayat polls, the Left parties had called for a statewide bandh from 6am today.
It was business as usual in the city, however, with public and private buses plying on roads and metro rail services functioning normally, official sources said.
“People have rejected the Left and its strike culture but the leaders are yet to learn lessons from it. They are spreading canards against the government and trying to stop its growth,” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.
The Left has lost its support base and don’t have enough candidates to file nominations in each seat, he said, adding that the TMC should not be blamed for opposition’s organisational failures.
CPI(M) legislative party leader, Sujan Chakraborty, on his part, said the strike call was justified given the “lawless” situation in the state.
Left Front Chairman Biman Bose echoed similar sentiments.
“We had called for bandh to ensure that our protest against the pre-poll violence is heard. We did not ask our cadres to act in an aggressive way to make the strike a success,” Bose said in a statement.
The BJP, which has also accused the TMC of unleashing violence on its party workers during the filing of nominations, did support the strike.
“We believe in fighting on the ground but do not support bandhs,” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.
The panchayat polls are scheduled to be held on three phases in the state on May 1, 3 and 5. The Calcutta High Court had yesterday stayed the ongoing poll process, expressing displeasure over the decision of the State Election Commission (SEC) to cancel its own order of extending nomination date.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.