Kolkata: Claiming that the two-day countrywide strike called by trade unions was a damp squib, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asked the Election Commission (EC) to ban parties calling shutdowns.
Ms Banerjee said at the state secretariat: "It is my humble request to the Election Commission... whichever party calls a bandh (shutdown) should be banned."
She said strikes were not the right way to protest against government policies in a democracy.
She alleged that parties that supported the 48-hour strike called by the central trade unions against inflation and several policies of the union government did not have the "courage" to move a no-confidence motion in parliament against the Congress-led UPA government.
Ms Banerjee claimed buses were plying and over 50 per cent of shops were open.
"I salute my working class for rejecting the strike. It is an emergency situation for the state as it has been facing a huge debt burden. So we cannot afford any shutdowns," she said.