Kolkata, Jan 7 (PTI) The central trade unions and the Trinamool Congress appear to be headed for a showdown over the general strike call on January 8 and 9.

The West Bengal government has already announced that its employees would be barred from availing casual leave or half day leave on Tuesday and Wednesday when as many as 10 central trade unions have called a nationwide strike protesting against the “anti-people” policies of the Centre.

No leave will also be allowed on the day preceding the two-day strike or following it, a government notification said on Friday.

Reacting to the government order, CITU state president Subhas Mukherjee said any attempt to foil the strike forcibly would face “resistance from the working class”.

“This strike is not against the policies of the state government but against the policies of the central government.

So why is the TMC opposing it? They are hand in glove with BJP. If they try to oppose the strike, the masses and the working class will resist any such attempts,” Mukherjee told reporters here.

State Parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee said that holding a strike is no way to protest against the policies of the government.

“The strike is not the way to protest against the policies of the Modi government. We too have been against the Modi government but that’s not the way to protest against it. We will ensure that life remains normal (on January 8 and 9). We don’t believe in strike and shutdown,” Chatterjee said.

West Bengal Congress president Somen Motra also wondered as to why the state government has been opposing the strike.

“Why is she (Mamata Banerjee) opposed to the strike call in the state? It is not against her state government. It is a nationwide strike call against the policies of the Modi government. This only proves that the TMC and BJP are both on the same page regarding economic policies and TMC’s call to fight against BJP is nothing but a farce,” Mitra said.

The 10 central trade unions who have called the strike have placed a charter of demands that include minimum wage, universal social security, workers’ status and including pay and facilities for the scheme workers, against privatisation of public and government organisations.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.