Left strike proves damp squib
Kolkata: The six-hour bandh, called by the Left Front, failed to evoke any response in the state with people rejecting the "strike culture" altogether venturing out for their offices and respective destinations on Friday.
It may be recalled that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had criticised the strike from 6 am to 12 noon saying that it was nothing but a gimmick. Before leaving the state Secretariat on Thursday, the Chief Minister said they should call a bandh at midnight to make it successful.
Stating that the people of Bengal have rejected the call for the bandh, Partha Chatterjee, secretary general of the Trinamool Congress, said the Left Front has called the strike for political mileage and people have realised that there is no need to respond to such a call which is politically motivated. "Those who are trying to ensure damage to the state have been defeated by the masses," said Chatterjee adding that the people have once again stood by the development of the state by rejecting the call for bandh.
After the change of guard in 2011, the Mamata Banerjee government has brought an end to the strike culture that had earned a negative image to the state before her government came to power. The state government had taken all the necessary steps to ensure that people do not face any inconvenience to reach their workplaces whenever bandh was called in the past six-and-half-years. It has helped to revive the work culture in the state and with similar arrangements on Friday as well, people did not even realise that there was a call for bandh for six hours till 12 noon on Friday.
The state Transport department pressed additional buses into service to ensure that commuters do not face any problem. All modes of transport were available since morning similar to that of other working days.
People have not noticed any difference on Friday morning with all the shops remaining open like normal days and people could reach their offices without facing any inconvenience and all marketplaces were also operational. Similarly, school and college goers too did not face any trouble.
A resident of North Kolkata, Manoj Jha, who was found taking his daughter to school, said he even didn't know that a strike has been called and he would also go to his office after dropping his daughter to school.
The turnout at all the state government offices was overwhelming. Like all other days, employees started turning up before 10 am and there were the usual queues to take the elevator at Nabanna. A similar overwhelming response of employees was also found in offices of the state government in the districts as well. Sources added that there was cent percent attendance in the Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department.
The picture was same in the state IT hub at Salt Lake where techies joined their work with equal enthusiasm. According to a senior official of an IT company, people in Salt Lake Sector V were not even aware that there was a bandh. Many delegates from other states also visited some of the offices on Friday and they were happy to know that there was no effect of the bandh in the state's IT sector, the official added.