Those who don't have political existence are calling strikes: Mamata slams Left, Cong

(Eds: With more quotes) Sagar Islands (WB), Jan 8 (PTI) Hitting out at the Left and the Congress, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday that those who don't have any political existence in the state are trying to ruin its economy by pursuing 'cheap politics' of strikes.

Banerjee said she extends her support to the cause of the strike, which has been called against the Centre's economic policies, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed nationwide NRC, but reiterated that her party and government is against any sort of shutdown.

'We will not allow any strike in Bengal. Those who don't have any political existence in the state are trying to ruin its economy by pursuing cheap politics such as strikes.

We will not let them impose strike in the state,' she said here in South 24 Parganas district.

The chief minister is here to review the arrangement for the Gangasagar mela.

They have not engaged in any mass movement against the CAA or the NRC - neither in the state nor anywhere else in the country, and now they want to take a short cut by calling a strike, Banerjee claimed.

Comparing the CPI(M)'s West Bengal unit with its counterpart in Kerala where the party is in power, the TMC supremo said there the Leftists do not resort to violence unlike their comrades in this state.

She referred to an incident of bombs being found on railway tracks in North 24 Parganas district during the strike, and accused Left parties of engaging in hooliganism and violence.

'They call strikes every year instead of organising people's movement. Despite being in power, we are brave enough to protest against the NRC and the CAA. We have condemned the violence inside JNU campus,' Banerjee said.

Commuters were beaten up and pelted with stones in the name of agitation, the chief minister said, claiming that the CPI(M) has become a signboard in the state.

'Strikes called by Left trade unions earlier were rejected by people. They want to get cheap publicity by calling bandhs and hurling bombs at buses,' Banerjee said adding that instead of gaining publicity in this way, they should wind up politically, Banerjee said.

Daring the CPI(M) to protest and engage in violence in other parts of the country, including the national capital, the TMC supremo claimed that the Left party is jealous of the development programmes undertaken by her government since 2011.

Incidents of violence and arson were reported from various parts of West Bengal with buses, vehicles and government properties being vandalised by groups of people who tried to enforce the 24-hour trade union strike on Wednesday.