Even before the much-hyped nationwide protest against the Centre’s demonetisation move could take off, cracks have surfaced within the Opposition with JD(U) and Trinamool Congress refusing to support the Bharat bandh on November 28.
On Saturday, Left parties were seen canvassing on the West Bengal streets in support of Monday's 12-hour general strike and the state's ruling TMC saying it would stoutly protest any attempt to disrupt normal life.
The state government also came out with a strong circular asking all its employees to report for work during the day and threatening to treat any absence without sufficient reason on November 28 as "dies non" (not a day of service) in his career.
Left spearhead Communist Party of India-Marxist state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said: "We will make the strike a success by resisting the Trinamool's atrocities."
He also expressed his happiness over the ruling party not supporting the strike. "We are very happy with this. Those who made money from Saradha chit fund scam and those who were seen taking money in the Narada News sting videos are roaming openly in the state, and occupying plum posts."
Janata Dal (United) the ruling alliance partner of Bihar’s Mahagathbandhan, has also decided to stay away from the strike.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had made it clear that the opposition has the right to pursue their own political agenda. He has spoken to RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Congress about his decision,” Party General Secretary Pawan Varma said, emphasising that the move would not affect the grand alliance in Bihar.
Nitish Kumar is one of the most vocal supporters of demonetisation move and has whole heartedly supported the initiative taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
However, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress have been strongly opposing the move.
The parties behind the strike organised street corners and small and medium ralies to explain their stand to the people during the day.
The Trinamool, on the other hand, accused the Left of helping the BJP by calling the strike. "This strike will only increase the people's suffering. The Left is trying to help the BJP on the issue," said Trinamool all India General Secretary Subrata Bakshi.
He said the Left had no business to call the strike on a day Chief Minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee has given the call for a rally against demonetisation.
Bakshi said Banerjee told the party's core committee during the day that the people do not any more back disruptions like strikes.
Meanwhile, the state government said all its offices,a gencies and institutions would remain open on November 28.
"All employees must attend their places of work. No employees of the state government will be granted leave on that day, In the event of any employee remaining absent without sufficient reason, the absence will be treated as dies non," said the state government circular read out to the media by Chief Secretary Basudeb Banerjee.
"The government will take all measures required to preserve law and order , maintain normal functioning of all public services and ensure safety and security of citizens and their property," he said.
The Congress has already extended its moral support to the strike, while the BJP is opposing it.
Eighteen Left and other parties on Friday called the statewide 12-hour general strike on November 28 to protest the harassment faced by people following the Union government's demonetisation move.
The parties who have convened the strike include the CPI-M, Communist Party of India, All India Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Nationalist Congress Party.
Bank, ATM services, post offices, hospital and medical clinics, ambulance, milk, water and power supplies, newspapers and marriages would be out of the purview of the strike.