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Nationwide strike hits some states hard

Kerala and West Bengal saw complete disruption while there was lukewarm response to the strike call in BJP-ruled Assam. Banking, public transport and electricity boards were affected in varying manner by the shutdown that began at 6 am.

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New Delhi: A two-day nationwide strike called by national trade unions to protest mainly against privatization of state-run enterprises and a new labour code badly affected Kerala and West Bengal and parts of some other states on Monday, union leaders said.

Kerala and West Bengal saw complete disruption while there was lukewarm response to the strike call in BJP-ruled Assam. Banking, public transport and electricity boards were affected in varying manner by the shutdown that began at 6 am.

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Farmers too will participate in the strike, said the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, which had for a year demonstrated against the three farm laws announced by the Central government.

The All Indian Trade Union Congress on Sunday said they expected at least 20 crore formal and informal workers to take part in the Monday-Tuesday strike.

The Joint Forum of Central Trade Unions is holding a nationwide protest against central government’s policies that they claim are adversely affecting workers, farmers and the general public. Bank employees are participating in the strike to protest against the government’s plans to privatize public sector banks and the banking law amendment bill of 2021.

The shutdown has been called against the government’s economic policies, which include the proposed change in labour laws and privatization of banks among other things.

A R Sindhu, Secretary of CITU, told UNI: “We have been raising these issues but the government’s response was totally negative. They are selling the country through privatization.”

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has announced it will not participate in the strike, calling it politically motivated. In view of the strike, the power ministry on Sunday alerted the central electricity authority, grid monitors and other power utilities to take necessary measures to ensure normal round-the-clock functioning of the electricity grid. 

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