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Featured Image: A file photo of the 14-storeyed Bengal state secretariat Nabanna building in Howrah. 

By A Newsman

Kolkata, 02 September: NOTWITHSTANDING the disruptions to normal life throughout West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has termed Wednesday’s all-India bandh convened by several trade unions as “unsuccessful” in Bengal.

“The bandh has been totally unsuccessful here. The Left parties tried to paralyse the state on the pretext of a trade union bandh, but people have foiled their plan by turning up for work in huge numbers,” Miss Banerjee told a Press conference organised at the 14th floor of Bengal state secretariat Nabanna in Howrah Wednesday afternoon.

She was flanked by the state’s director general of police, the police commissioner of Kolkata, state chief secretary, and two of her ministers, Arup Biswas and Subrata Mukherjee.

Miss Banerjee had reached Nabanna around 10.20 this morning and spent the entire day in her 14th floor office that has a rooftop garden overseeing the Howrah city-line. She has monitored the situation from Nabanna throughout the day, she said.

Despite proclaiming the bandh to be “unsuccessful”, Miss Banerjee announced that the Trinamool Congress would organised a state-wide agitation on Thursday and Friday against the CPI-M’s attempts “to create anarchy” in Bengal. “The agitation will take place in every part of the state from 4 pm to 5 pm on these two days.”

She maintained that as compared to other working days, the attendance in state government offices today was higher. “In Kolkata, the attendance today was 93 per cent as compared to 91 per cent on other days. In the districts, the attendance was recorded at 97 per cent today,” Miss Banerjee said.

The state government would “give award” to those who turned up for work today and will “take action” against the absentees, she added.

Patting the police administration and Trinamool workers for exhibiting “restraint despite provocation from the CPM vandals”, Miss Banerjee said that the situation would have turned volatile had there been a reaction to the vandalism.

Throughout her near 30-minute Press conference, she repeatedly blamed the CPI-M of having “ruined Bengal” by its 34-year rule and leaving “a huge debt burden” on her government. “Now that we are working hard to restore things, CPI-M is trying to derail the progress and development. But we will foil their plot.”

Miss Banerjee said that 974 bandh picketers had been arrested in the state during the day; of them, 29 in Kolkata.