Today Mamata and Left will fight it out on streets over note ban

Kolkata: Protests against demonetisation are set to be stronger in West Bengal as the Left parties on Sundayintensified their stir in support of Monday's 12-hour general strike while the state's ruling Trinamool Congress planned to come out with a rally to protest the scrapping of high value notes but opposed the general strike. The Trinamool on Sunday said it would protest any attempt to disrupt normal life.

Left spearhead Communist Party of India-Marxist State Secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said: "We will make the strike a success for the common people. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have been saying strike will cause loss of man-days. They must know more man-days were lost as people have to stand in the queue before banks and ATMs resulting from demonetisation." He said the central government failed completely to restore the money supply after the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. "The government siphoned Rs 14 lakh crore of high value currency notes and it should have replaced such amount with lower denomination notes. But they did not do so. As a result, the growth of GDP has been hit badly and the economic growth will suffer in future too," he said. Mishra alleged that workers across the sectors particularly in the manufacturing sector have lost their jobs. "At least 50-60 lakh workers have lost their jobs due to demonetisation," he said. The Left parties on Saturday had organised street corner meetings and small and medium rallies to explain their stand to the people and reasons for calling the strike. The Trinamool, on the other hand, accused the Left of helping the BJP by calling the strike and termed the strike as the Left's "negative economy". Trinamool Parliamentary Party Leader in Rajya Sabha and national spokesperson Derek O'Brien said that Banerjee will be leading a procession in the city on Monday protesting against the demonetisation. "The Left parties have a very negative mind set. Mamata Banerjee has made clear, on behalf of the Trinamool Congress that the people are going through enough pain. We should stand by them. We should help them. These are difficult times," he added. He also said that the city and Bengal will run peacefully and life will be normal.

"No one will accept negative outdated politics of the Left parties. The negative politics of the Left in coalition with BJP will not do," said O'Brien. 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. Meanwhile, the state government said all its offices, agencies and institutions would remain open on November 28 and state run transport agencies also said they would run their buses with full strength. (IANS)