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Bandhs are our right: Political parties

July 24, 2004 01:32 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party would move the Supreme Court against the order of a division bench of the Bombay high court, which imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakh each on the party and its ally Shiv Sena for calling a bandh in Mumbai on July 30, 2003.

The bench comprising of Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S U Kamdar directed that the money be used to improve public amenities.

This is not palatable to political parties.

"How can they take away our legitimate right of dissent? We have not yet got the court order. Once we do get it, we will study it and move the apex court," BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told rediff.com.

The Left parties too were indignant.

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"If you take the workers' right to strike, they are deprived of a legitimate political weapon," Revolutionary Socialist Party Lok Sabha MP Abani Roy told rediff.com. "We are determined to protect the rights of the people and if the need arises, will not hesitate to agitate against judicial verdicts hampering these rights."

Communist Party of India-Marxist Lok Sabha member Basudeb Acharya was reluctant to comment without studying the judgment in all its aspects but insisted his party believed in the people's right to strike and register their protest through bandhs.

Hannan Mollah, his party colleague and Lok Sabha member from Ulberia in West Bengal, said the Bombay high court judgment would hurt the common people and workers. The CPI-M is known for taking up cudgels on behalf of the workers and Mollah said, "We have to do something to show that we are there to protect their rights."

Tom Waddakan, a member of the Congress' media cell, said his party would respect the verdict and abide by it.
Onkar Singh/Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi