BJP criticises TMC for opposing bandh call

Kolkata: The BJP today criticised Trinamool Congress for opposing the party-sponsored 12-hour `Bengal bandh` tomorrow called to protest steep hike in petrol price and charged it with adopting "double-standards" on the issue.

"We found that even ministers of UPA partner Trinamool Congress took to the road in the city to protest petrol price hike. The same party announced measures to counter the BJP-sponsored bandh called on the same issue", state BJP secretary Ritesh Tiwari said in a statement here.

Criticising the state government`s circular to its employees against absence from duty tomorrow and cautioning salary-cut, Tiwari said, "we have no hesitation to call these steps as fascist action". "It is condemnable that the state government is bent upon gagging democracy, for which the previous Left Front government had learnt bitter lessons and had to pay for", he said.

During the BJP-sponsored statewide bandh, called in response to the NDA`s nationwide bandh call tomorrow, the party workers would resort to road blockade programmes and take out processions all over West Bengal, he said. The circular also instructed the police to undertake extensive road patrolling, besides keeping ready adequate Reserve Police Force with vehicles at strategic centres to make them available on demand to deal with untoward situation, if any. Similarly, alert has been sounded to the fire brigade.

The chief secretary also asked all concerned to ensure that no property of railways and other central government offices and undertakings were damaged or destroyed and to keep the administration informed of all developments including law and order situation immediately. Meanwhile, state Transport Minister Madan Mitra said that all modes of transport would remain normal tomorrow and asked people to attend offices, schools and colleges without any fear. Mitra said, "It was our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who raised her protest first against petrol price hike and participated in a procession. This bandh has no importance to the people in the state."