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BJP, Left shuts down Bengal

Even as Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee opposed the national  bandh called by the NDA[National Democratic Alliance] and Bangla bandh called by the Left against the fuel price hike and FDI in the retail sector, life came to a standstill in Kolkata and the rest of Bengal on Thursday, with people staying  off the streets, shops and factories staying shut and office attendance at a bare minimum. A couple of days back, the Trinamool Congress [TMC], a major ally of National Congress-led United Progressive Alliance [UPA] decided to withdraw its support from the UPA government arguing that these reform measures would hurt the poor people. However, the TMC did not support the bandh call on Thursday. ‘The bandh is anti-people.  The state has incurred losses worth Rs 100 crore lakhs due to debt incurred by the Left Front Government. Of this amount at least Rs 2000 crore is due to bandhs ,’ Banerjee said at Writer’s Buildings on Thursday.  Interestingly, the CII, in a statement, has pegged the loss caused to the exchequer due to the bandh at Rs 12,500 crore. The TMC also organised a rally in Kolkata which was led by TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay. ‘Mamata Banerjee has just taken such a bold decision to quit the UPA Government at the Centre just two days ago. The loss to the economy caused by a bandh like this is unpardonable’, said Bandopadhyay. On the official Trinamool Congress website, Banerjee said, ‘I want to thank you all for opposing the bandh and attending regular work. I am compelled to take some hard decisions.’

Left Front Chairman Biman Bose as well as state BJP leader Rahul Sinha claimed that the bandh was a success in Bengal . Industrial areas like Durgapur and Kalyani saw scanty production on Thursday compared to other ‘bandh’ days.
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