Bengal DA stir: BJP promises support for ‘march to secretariat’ agitation
Kolkata, Jan 23 (IANS) The leader of the opposition (LoP) in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, on Tuesday promised to extend full support to the state government employees, who have been agitating for dearness allowances (DA) to be made at par with the central government employees, in case they organise a ‘march to the state secretariat’ in support of their demand.
On Tuesday early morning, the leader of the opposition reached the dais of the agitating Joint Forum of State Government Employees, the umbrella body organising the movement on this issue, and assured to be present at any ‘march to the state secretariat” programme convened by the forum.
From that dais Adhikari also gave a strong note of caution to the state government to see it through to the end in case the latter takes any punitive action against the state government employees agitating for their rights.
He also alleged that since the state government employees in general did not back the corrupt practices of the highest functionaries in the state, the state administration is punishing them by denying their legitimate dues.
The expression of solidarity by the leader of the opposition is significant as the joint forum has already announced that they will be going for marathon cease-work from January 29 unless the state government makes definite promises in fulfilling their demands.
They have also threatened to go for “fast-unto-death” agitation if Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee does not personally meet them and give assurance of fulfilling their demands.
In December last year, the chief minister announced a four per cent additional DA for the state government employees. But even after that the gap in the DA rates for West Bengal government employees from that of the central government staff stands at 36 per cent.
The Trinamool Congress leadership is claiming that the state government employees should actually agitate against the Union government since the latter had held back the state government’s legitimate dues.