The Left-backed Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has claimed that today’s nationwide strike  was a success in West Bengal despite “attacks” on Left workers, leaders and journalists. Rejecting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s claim that the strike had failed, CITU state President Shyamal Chakraborty said despite “state-sponsored threats”, people responded to the strike call. “Several Left workers were attacked and injured, while former minister Srikumar Mukherjee was heckled by the Trinamool Congressmen,” Chakraborty told reporters at Shramik Bhavan. The arrested included CPI(M) leader Narayan Biswas, Manik Sanyal and others, he said. “The success of the strike points to the eroding popularity of the Mamata Banerjee government, which rode to power with an overwhelming majority,” he said. “We fail to understand why the administration was so scared of the strike that it had to issue a threat notice to its employees. “We condemn the oppressive measures of the state machinery and authoritarian attitude of the chief minister to foil the strike,” Chakraborty said. Claiming that the Chief Minister had given out wrong information, the CITU leader held that 85 per cent of jute mill workers joined the strike, followed by 82 per cent in coal mines, 65 per cent in steel plants, total strike in hosiery mills and 90 per cent in the IT industry, while tea gardens in North Bengal observed total strike. According to him, workers in some power generating plants did not report for duty causing lesser generation of 650 MW. He said five Jet Airways, 8 Air-India, 6 Spicejet flights were cancelled, while only 20 per cent of taxis and autorickshaws were on the roads. “Due to threats, some state-run buses plied, but there were less private buses which were later withdrawn,” he said. (Courtsey: Ganashakti)

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