Kolkata: The BJP on Wednesday criticised Trinamool Congress for opposing the party-sponsored 12-hour 'Bengal bandh' on Thursday called to protest steep hike in petrol price and charged it with adopting "double-standards" on the issue.

"We found that even ministers of UPA partner Trinamool Congress took to the road in the city to protest petrol price hike. The same party announced measures to counter the BJP-sponsored bandh called on the same issue", state BJP secretary Ritesh Tiwari said in a statement here.

Criticising the state government's circular to its employees against absence from duty tomorrow and cautioning salary-cut, Tiwari said,

"We have no hesitation to call these steps as fascist action".

"It is condemnable that the state government is bent upon gagging democracy, for which the previous Left Front government had learnt bitter lessons and had to pay for",  he said.

During the BJP-sponsored statewide bandh, called in response to the NDA's nationwide bandh call on Wednesday, the party workers would resort to road blockade programmes and take out processions all over West Bengal, he said.

WB GOVT INITIATES STEPS TO PREVENT BANDH

Meanwhile, the West Bengal Government on Wednesday put in place several measures to prevent the NDA-sponsored 12-hour 'Bharat Bandh' against petrol price hike while issuing a circular warning government employees against any leave on Thursday.

"All state government offices will remain open and all government officers and employees should report for duty. Government employees will not be granted any leave on May 31" Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh said in a circular on Tuesday, which was circulated among all departments today.

Different employees unions said that the circular was a warning to government employees of pay-cut in the event of absence from duty on Thursday without specific reason.

The state government had effected pay-cut in salaries of government employees who were absent during the February 28 countrywide general strike called by Left trade unions.

The circular said that all precautionary measures should be taken to ensure that there was no violation of law and order and that no untoward incident took place.

"Attempts at forcible closure of government offices, shops, markets, educational institutions, industrial establishments, etc., should be firmly dealt with", it said, adding, "vital installations should be specially guarded".

The circular said that normal vocation of the people in general should not be allowed to be disturbed. "In particular it should be ensured that there is no interruption in normal flow of road traffic or stoppage of movement or trains due to squatting or other types of blockades", it said.

(Agencies)

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