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Surjya sees ‘help’ in CM call to foil strike

Surjya at the rally

Calcutta, Feb. 4: CPM leader Surjya Kanta Mishra today said the chief minister’s call to foil the Left’s two-day strike will help his party make the shutdown was a “bigger success”.

“The chief minister has thrown a challenge to foil the two-day strike. But her threat will help us as this would make the shutdown a bigger success,” Mishra said at a rally on Rani Rashmoni Avenue.

“People will give a fitting reply to the chief minister by participating in the strike,” he added.

CPM sources said Mishra’s comments were an attempt to to silence the growing debate within the party and the Left Front over the 48-hour shutdown that falls on Bhasha Divas on February 21.

The February 20-21 strike has been called by 11 trade union against the Centre’s economic reforms and price hike.

“Party ranks resent our support for the 48-hour shutdown, which falls on the Bhasha Divas on February 21. A strike on that day goes against people’s sentiments,” said Syed Mohammed Masih, the chief whip of the previous Left Front government.

Former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, in an interview with ABP Ananda, said that the CPM had written to central trade unions to “seriously rethink” about the strike on February 21.

“We have told the central trade unions to seriously rethink about Bengal. We have told them that on February 21, there will not be any bandh in Bengal. We will observe Bhasha Divas,” Bhattacharjee said in reply to a question from author Samaresh Majumdar.

A CPM state committee member admitted that a debate has begun in the party ever since state secretary Biman Bose extended support to the strike.

“Surjyada’s stress on making the strike a bigger success was aimed at silencing the debate within the party and make everybody rally behind it,” he said.

Mishra, taking a swipe at the Trinamul government’s decision to increase the number of holidays for its employees, said: “The chief minister has herself observed a number of unannounced bandhs in the garb of government holidays.”