Normal life was paralysed on Thursday in the Left-ruled states of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura as the Left unions enforced a day-long nationwide strike against the "anti-people" economic and labour policies of the UPA Government.
In the national capital, left MPs held a demonstration in front of Parliament in support of the strike call, given by the Sponsoring Committee of Left unions including CPI(M)-affiliated CITU, CPI-backed AITUC and Hind Mazdoor Sabha. They later marched from Parliament to Jantar Mantar, where they addressed a workers gathering.
Congress-affiliated INTUC and RSS-backed BMS stayed away from the "politically motivated" strike.
Reports from various parts of the three Left-ruled states said life came to a standstill.
In Kolkata, roads were deserted with no public transport plying, while Indian and Jet have cancelled flights.
Shops and establishments were closed in the metropolis.
The strike call was also given to the nascent IT sector in West Bengal, though CITU has assured that there would be no picketing at the IT hub of Salt Lake sector five.
State-run and private bus services, trucks and taxis were off the roads in both Tripura and Kerala since the strike began at midnight.
CITU President MK Pandhe claimed that all ports, coal mines and post officies in the country were closed. However, official reports said operations in Paradip port have not been affected.
In some districts of Assam, it was a "bandh" like situation, according to Pandhe's claims. In Haryana, transport workers were on strike and there was a lathicharge by police in Jhajhar area, he said.