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West Bengal goes into protest mode

Marcus Dam

Left Front, Trinamool and BJP call for strike

KOLKATA: The ruling Left Front in West Bengal has called a 12-hour general strike on Thursday in protest against the “anti-people” decision of the Centre to raise the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.

The Trinamool Congress, which has accused the Communist Party of India (Marxist) of “being party to the move,” and the Bharatiya Janata Party will observe a 12-hour State-wide bandh on the issue the following day.

The Congress said the bandh calls were “totally politically motivated.”

Chairman of the Left Front Committee Biman Bose said on Wednesday: “The decision of the UPA government amounts to burdening the common man further with its anti-people policies in contravention of much of the provisions embodied in the Common Minimum Programme.”

The inflation rate would go beyond the 10 per cent mark. This would force the people into a more difficult situation.

Mr. Bose, who is also the Secretary of the State Committee of the CPI(M), regretted that the alternative proposals submitted to the Centre by the Left parties to keep the situation under control were ignored.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee was critical of both the Centre and the State government in regard to the price rise and pointed out that “the CPI(M) that is the remote control of the UPA government was also responsible” for the decision.

CPI(M) dejected: Dasmunsi

Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister who is also the president of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee, said that the CPI(M) that “had been dejected” following reverses suffered in the recent rural polls in the State had called for a strike “as a means to divert attention” from the setback to the State’s industrial programme.

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