Wednesday, Dec 07, 2022

Bharat Bandh hits life in Kerala, West Bengal; no effect in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu

In West Bengal, where ruling TMC opposed the strike, clashes took place with the police.

bharat bandh, nationwide strike, strike, trade union strike, india strike, government, trade union, trade union strike, kerala, west bengal, CPI(M) strike, CPI(M), trade union, trade union strike, Bharat Bandh, Kerala, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, india news Passengers wait on a deserted road (left); protesters vandalise an NBSTC bus in Cooch Behar district (West Bengal). (Source: ANI photo)

The nation-wide strike called by central trade unions on Friday hit normal life in several states with left-ruled Kerala and West Bengal being hardest hit. In the CPI(M) ruled southern state, public transport vehicles stayed off the roads with shops and business establishments downing shutters. Autorickshaws, taxis, Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and private buses were not plying on roads across the state with the workers of various unions taking part in the strike.

Major roads wore a deserted look in Thiruvananthapuram where hundreds of employees of ISRO units, including Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), could not reach their offices as the strike supporters laid a seige of an ISRO bus bay.

READ | Bharat Bandh LIVE: Clashes in West Bengal as Trinamool opposes trade union strike

In West Bengal, where ruling TMC opposed the strike, clashes took place with the police. The Mayor of Siliguri Municipal Corporation, Ashok Bhattacharya, was arrested along with 15 other protesters. In Cooch Behar district, protesters vandalised an NBSTC bus. Protests took place in Kolkata where CITU workers held rally in support of their demands.

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In the newly-formed state of Telangana, banking operations came to a standstill as over 15,000 employees of various banks participated in the general strike called by trade unions to protest government’s “anti-labour policies”. All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEAP) Joint Secretary B S Rambabu said demonstrations will be held in all the district headquarters along with other trade unions.

“Though branches will be open, there is no business taking place in PSU banks. Clearing will also be impacted. However, there will not be any problem with regard to ATMs’ functioning,” Rambabu told reporters.

However, the strike did not have much impact on the normal life in Tamil Nadu. Transport services and other businesses began the day’s functioning normally. Bus and train services were operating as usual while shops and business establishments remained open. Educational institutions were functioning normally. The ruling AIADMK’s labour wing is not participating in the strike. According to reports, the strike did not affect normalcy in most parts of the state. However, inter-state buses to Kerala were stopped at the border towns of Nagercoil and Theni.

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Also in the western state of Maharashtra, it was business as usual. Public transport in Mumbai operated normally despite one-day nationwide strike call given by central trade unions. However, the strike evoked a mixed response in rural Maharashtra. The suburban trains, autorickshaws, taxis and city buses continued to operate normally, without affecting the daily schedule of lakhs of commuters in Mumbai and suburbs.

A CPM state unit leader told reporters that there were instances of ‘rasta roko’ (block roads) at various places in rural Maharashtra. “Our activists staged ‘rasta roko’ agitation in Thane and Nashik districts,” CPM leader Ashok Dhawle said. He claimed that there was an ‘overwhelming’ response to the stir in the industrial belts of Maharashtra.

First published on: 02-09-2016 at 01:12:10 pm
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