The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Left bugle against bandh
- Trinamul meet today on response to strike case

Calcutta, Nov. 27: As the Trinamul Congress grapples with its response to high court summons on the 12-hour bandh it has called on December 3, the Left Front sounded a warning that it would oppose the strike.

Mamata Banerjee's party will hold a meeting tomorrow to decide on its course of action on the summons to appear on Tuesday for the next hearing on a public interest litigation against the bandh.

'The meeting has been convened to discuss ways on how we shall react to the court notices, which we are yet to receive. This is a serious matter and has to be discussed threadbare,' said Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, the party's chief whip in the Assembly.

When Trinamul meets tomorrow, it will be under the shadow of today's Front decision to step up a campaign in protest against the 'politically motivated bandh'.

After a meeting, Front chairman Biman Bose said its leaders would appeal to the government to ensure normal functioning on Friday. 'We are sure that people will attend office as usual on December 3, rejecting the unjust bandh.'

Several Front leaders suggested party workers would be deployed on the streets to maintain peace. 'Any attempt to prevent willing employees from attending office will be firmly dealt with,' warned RSP leader Sunil Sengupta.

In the court battle, advocate Idris Ali, who has moved the petition against the bandh on behalf of the All India Minority Forum, said he had sent notices to Trinamul's Topsia office and Mamata's residence as directed by the court.

Asked if the party had received the summons, Trinamul general secretary Mukul Roy said: 'You better ask Didi. I don't know anything about it.'

Party sources said Mamata has directed leaders to hold their tongues on the bandh. Arunava Ghosh, MLA and advocate, however, said the party will stay away if the court order does not make appearance mandatory. 'So far as our information goes, the court has not made it mandatory for us.'

Front fete plan

The Front has lined up a reception for a two-member delegation from the Communist Party of Cuba at Mahajati Sadan on December 3.

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