Mamata to crack whip on ‘free-for-all’ shutdowns

August 12th, 2011 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, Aug 12 (IANS) Voicing her ire over a shutdown called in parts of north Bengal and terming it as “hooliganism”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Friday her government would enact a law if required to prevent disruption of public life through frequent shutdowns and blockades.

Expressing her dismay over the shutdown enforced in parts of northern West Bengal by some tea garden workers’ unions, Banerjee alleged that such “disruptive agitations” were being resorted to since the Marxists were voted out of power in May.

“Such shutdowns were being organised through force. It is not fair to disrupt the livelihood of a crore people daily like this. This is nothing short of hooliganism,” the chief minister told mediapersons at the state secretariat Writers’ Buildings.

She said the government would monitor the situation for some time and then, “if need be we will enact a law. You cannot snatch the people’s rights through shutdowns and blockades”.

Stating that her government could not allow the economic ruin of West Bengal, Banerjee took pot shots at the erstwhile Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led Left Front for making the state “bankrupt” through its disruptive brand of politics.

“We will not allow such things. This is our resolve. Neither will I resort to such things, nor will I allow others to do such things.”

Banerjee conceded that blockades and shutdowns could be the spontaneous reaction in case of sudden happenings. “But I wont allow a free-for-all for serving somebody’s political interests.”

Normal life was hit Friday in some north Bengal districts following a shutdown sponsored by the Coordination Committee of Plantation Workers comprising different trade unions including CITU, INTUC, AITUC and BJP. The agitators are demanding immediate enhancement of wages of the tea workers.

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