For Bengal CPM and Cong, bandh flops

Six CPM leaders in Birbhum's Bolpur were seated in front of a party office on Monday morning chatting and reading newspapers as their call for a rally in support of the Left's 12-hour Bharat bandh failed to mobilise workers and supporters.

By OUR BUREAU
  • Published 11.09.18
  •  

Calcutta: Six CPM leaders in Birbhum's Bolpur were seated in front of a party office on Monday morning chatting and reading newspapers as their call for a rally in support of the Left's 12-hour Bharat bandh failed to mobilise workers and supporters.

The area committee called off the morning rally and eventually headed to the Bolpur zonal office to hold another rally in the evening. The rally had a crowd count of barely 60.

Calling it "unfortunate", a local CPM leader said it was the first time in recent memory that the party was unable to organise such a rally. "There are lessons to learn from this," he said.

The Bolpur instance was microcosmic of the bandh day across Bengal as neither the Marxists nor the Congress managed to evoke noticeable response in favour of the shutdown. The Congress and the Left called for bandh separately to protest rising fuel prices.

In the absence of support to the bandh from the Trinamul Congress, all government offices and most private establishments remained open across Bengal. Transport was hardly affected.

Sources said attendance in government offices was 97 per cent, even higher than that of normal working days.

Left Front chairman Biman Bose accused Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her party of aiding the BJP and its government at the Centre. "The government arrested hundreds of our supporters to spoil the bandh," said Bose, while claiming that the bandh was a "success".

State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury did not even leave Behrampore and nobody from the party held the customary post-bandh news conference in Calcutta.

Trinamul held a rally in Calcutta in a show of support to the issues on which the bandh was called. But the party lambasted the Congress and the Left for their allegedly disruptive politics of strikes and shutdowns. "Our party is against any kind of bandh, we cannot bring normal life to a halt," the chief minister said while leaving Nabanna.