Kolkata: A day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appealed for doing away with the bandh culture in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) today sought to
assure Left trade unions that her stand should not be seen as
an attempt to take away political rights.
Miffed by Banerjee`s remark on the bandhs, the Left trade
unions threatened to launch anti-government movement if a
legislation in this regard is brought.
The Chief Whip of the Trinamool Congress Legislature
Party, Sobhandev Chattopadhyay, told the Assembly today that
Left trade unions in the state were unnecessarily raising a
hue and cry over Banerjee`s statement.
The chief minister had only expressed herself against
abrupt bandhs and gheraos, Chattopadhyay clarified.
Any step in this regard would be taken only after a
consensus is reached among the political parties, he told the
House during zero hour today.
Banerjee yesterday asked political parties not to resort
to bandhs as a mode of protest and said legislation is
required to counter bandhs, strikes and blockades.
Chattopadhyay said though such protest is a democratic
right, it should not be "misused" and said Banerjee had made
it clear that under no circumstances rights of the unions
would be curbed.
The workers would continue to enjoy their rights to
freedom of association; Chattopadhyay said and reminded that
rights do not go without responsibilities.
"The anti-bandh stand does not mean that workers will not
wage struggle to realise PF dues and gratuity and other
benefits for instance," he said.
If bandhs and blockades are resorted to for political
purpose, only then they should be stopped, he explained.
The general secretary of CITU`s West Bengal unit, Kali
Ghosh, said, "It is ridiculous to hear statements against
Bandh culture from someone (Mamata Banerjee) who had herself
launched a blockade for days together over Singur issue. It is
a new realisation on her part."
"The Left trade unions would oppose any move to enact law
to curb workers` right to strike which is a fundamental
right," Ghosh asserted.