Kolkata, Feb 28: Claiming Tuesday's “Left-sponsored bandh” has ‘failed' in West Bengal for the first time in 35 years, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said “destructive” bandhs were not the future and it ended today.
She said the “total failure” of the shutdown would serve a message to the Leftists in organising such strikes in future.
“Bandh is not the future of Bengal or for that matter the country. The destructive culture of bandh has ended today.
Let no one have the courage to call a bandh again,” Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat where an unprecedented 65 per cent attendance was recorded on Tuesday.
Without naming the CPI(M), she alleged that the party had kept its existence alive through bandhs.
“The manner in which people have responded against today's bandh, no one will now want to call a bandh. There is no impact of the bandh. It has failed totally with 100 per cent attendance by government employees in most places,” she said.
She claimed markets were open in most places while operations in the port, coal sector and the government mint were normal.
Trains plied normally and in many cases long-distance trains arrived before time. The industrial belts functioned as usual and there was normal agricultural activity all over the state, Ms. Banerjee said.
Metro services in the city were also normal, she said adding no flight had been cancelled from the city. “This is a new achievement in work culture.”
She said 50 additional state-owned buses were pressed into service.
“Though private bus-owners are usually reluctant to operate on such days for fear of their vehicles getting damaged, we have assured them that an insurance cover will be provided in such cases,” she said.