Bangalore witnessed a mixed response to the bandh. Public transport was massively affected and the effect spilled over to every sector. Exams conducted by school and colleges and other competitive exams were postponed. Trade unions staged huge rallies near the Town Hall, Peenya, Yeshwanthapur, Yelhanka, and Electronic City. But more than the trade union strike, what hit the public transport was the decision of auto drivers’ unions to strike on the same day. They are demanding a fare hike.
Delhi and Mumbai
Wheels literally ground to a halt in Delhi on Tuesday. Autos and taxis remained off the roads following the all-India strike called by all major trade unions to protest government’s “anti-labour” policies, price rise and disinvestment of PSUs. The banking sector was also badly hit. The only joy was the power situation — thanks to the Essential Services Maintenance Act imposed on all power companies since Monday. In financial capital Mumbai, banks witnessed thin attendance, with bank unions being at the forefront of the strike. Operations at the two ports also took a hit. About 1,000 wholesale traders at Navi Mumbai’s vegetable wholesale market downed shutters. But for a change, the transport worked.
West Bengal, Kerala
A strike is always a holiday in Bengal, no matter who calls it. Nine months after voting out the Left Front, the state responded with enthusiasm to the Left-sponsored industrial strike on Tuesday. Only the government offices recorded full attendance, since the administration was holding a gun to the employees’ heads. As the CM congratulated those who ‘ignored’ the bandh call, panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee said, “It will take time for people to overcome the tradition of bandhs.” The Congress-led government in Kerala, however, was not as successful, despite enforcing a “no work, no pay” rule. Government offices witnessed thin attendance and Thiruvananthapuram wore a deserted look.