New Delhi: India’s first major protest after the conclusion of a crucial round of state polls – the Bharat Bandh strike – led to a partial disruption of banking and transport services on Monday as the two-day agitation kicked off. The 48-hour protest has entered the second day on Tuesday, and the impact is likely to continue. The strike has been called by a group of trade unions who have been voicing concern over several government policies, calling them “anti-worker and anti-farmer”.
Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Kerala, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh among others – the first day of protests registered a response in several states where transport and banking services took a partial hit.
The strike has been called by the Joint Forum of Central Trade Unions after the provident fund interest rates were slashed in a move that attracted wide criticism. Rising fuel prices and privatisation of central public sector undertakings are also other issues that have been raised.
Apart from 10 central trade union, independent sectoral federations and workers’ associations are also a part of the protest.
The trade unions said workers from coal mining areas of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh also took part in the protest.