Mumbai/Imphal, Jan 8
The all India strike organised by 10 Central trade unions, six bank unions, 60 teachers’ organisations and nearly 175 farmers’ organisations, as a protest against the “anti-worker, anti-people and anti-national policies” of the Modi-II Government brought activities to screeching halt in several parts of the country including Manipur, Assam, Odisha, Puducherry, Kerala, Telangana, Punjab, when banking services took a hit and roadway services were affected, on Wednesday.
The call for the strike was given by the Central trade and bank unions after their meeting with the Central Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar, held last week to resolve multiple issues related to PSU mergers and disinvestment proved futile. This was the fourth nationwide strike called by the trade unions since the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came to power in 2014.
While a bus was vandalised in Cooch Behar in West Bengal, some Congress and CPI leaders were taken into custody for taking part in the “Bandh” in Andhra Pradesh.
The strike was near total in Kerala with vehicles, including state-owned KSRTC and private buses keeping off the roads. Very few private vehicles and autorickshaws were seen plying on roads.
In Manipur, the bandh has affected normalcy in the state crippling all sort of business sectors, including Khwairambandh Keithel. Almost all shops and private entrepreneurs remain closed at Paona Bazar and Thangal Bazar in Imphal. Commercial vehicles stay off the roads except some few.
In Andhra Pradesh, the rallies were taken out by the Left parties and trade unions in major towns and cities. In Vijayawada, a rally was taken out from Radham Centre to Lenin Centre.
Banking services such as ATMs and branch services were affected, but online transactions such as NEFT, IIMPS remained unaffected. The bank workers were protesting against the merger of public sector banks.
In Mumbai in Maharashtra, employees of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation held protest demonstration at Azad Maidan whereas college teachers wore black band while on duty.
The employees of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation staged demonstrations outside its headquarter in South Mumbai as a protest against proposed disinvestment despite the corporation is being running in huge profit.
The local transport services were by and large unaffected since autos, taxis, BEST buses operated normally in Mumbai.
The street corner meetings were held in many districts in Maharashtra including Kolhapur and Sangli. Addressing the gathering former MP Raju Shetty lambasted the Union Government for its policy to import food grains affecting livelihood of farmers.
Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]
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