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Transport, banking, and other essential services are likely to be hit during two-day strike

By wasmulhaq 
Updated Date

A 48-hour nationwide strike has been called by different trade unions in view of government policies affecting the downtrodden sections of society, such as workers, farmers, and so on.

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This is the first strike called by a joint forum of central trade unions after the BJP’s victory in four out of five-state assembly polls that concluded this month.

Bandh is expected to disrupt essential services.

The two-day nationwide band is expected to affect critical services such as banking, transportation, railways, and power services.

The decision for the two-day strike came following a meeting on March 22 where the trade unions said that they would protest against the Centre’s “anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people, and anti-national policies.” The bank unions are participating in the protest against the government’s plan to privatise public sector banks, as well as the Banking Laws Amendment Bill 2021.

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Strike against gov’t policies against downtroddens

The protesters say the Platform of Central Trade Unions and Sectoral Federations and Associations, aims to draw attention to criticism of government policies, which have been defined as “anti-worker, anti-farmer, and anti-national” in a statement.

Key points regarding the two-day nationwide bandh:

  • Maiden strikes across the country following the victory of the saffron party in four out of five assembly elections. The BJP emerged victorious in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Uttarakhand, and Goa, while the AAP surprised others and bagged Punjab. The BJP said it bagged the four states due to its pro-people and pro-development agenda.
  • At some places, protesters stopped those in their private cars too. The presence of deserted streets signalled the start of the strike in some states. West Bengal, however, saw demonstrators on the streets.
  • Train tracks were blocked by protesters in West Bengal. Left-party members were present on rail tracks in huge numbers at the Jadavpur Railway Station in Kolkata.
  • It is expected that approximately 20 crore protesters are expected to join in the nationwide strike. “We are expecting the participation of over 20 crore formal and informal workers with mass mobilisation of workers across the country during the strike on March 28 and 29 to protest against government policies,” All Indian Trade Union Congress General Secretary Amarjeet Kaur said.
  • The ministry of power has issued an advisory to all the state governments and electricity authorities on Sunday to guarantee 24*7 power supplies during the strike period.
  • All concerned may be advised to ensure close supervision of their regional network/control area and shall report to the concerned SLDC/ RLDC and NLDC in the event of any contingency. “Power supply to essential services such as hospitals, defence, railways, etc. should be ensured,” it read. Regional and state control rooms have been put on alert.
  • The All India Bank Employees’ Association on Sunday said the bank union demands the government to stop privatisation of public sector banks and strengthen them. The country’s largest lender, SBI, and other banks have said that their services may be impacted.
  • Speedy recovery of bad loans, higher deposit rates by banks, lower service charges on customers as well as the restoration of the old pension scheme are some of the other issues that have been raised by the AIBEA.
  • The association said that employees of public sector banks, private banks, foreign banks, cooperative banks, and regional rural banks are set to join the strike.
  • Government offices in West Bengal have been asked to remain open. As per the state government notification, “It has been decided that no casual leave or any other leave for absence, either in the first half or in the second half or for the whole day, shall be granted to any employee on the above-mentioned dates (March 28-March 29),” as per the state government notification.
  • Mamata Banerjee’s TMC government has been criticised for not backing the protest. The dispensation is showing its true colours by opposing the strike, which has been called to protest against the Narendra Modi regime’s policies against workers, farmers, and general people, “Anand Sahu, Centre of Indian Trade Unions Bengal chief, revealed.
  • Farmers’ body Samyukta Kisan Morcha has also come out in support of the bandh call. The 48-hour strike is one of the biggest protests since the farmers’ agitation. The farmers are ready to hold the next wave of demonstrations next month.

 

Supporters of the two-day nationwide strike on Monday disrupted the functioning of rail services in various places in West Bengal, like Jadavpur, Dum Dum, Barasat, Shyamnagar, Belgharia, Joynagar, and Domjur, to protest against the Centre’s policies.

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Road blockades could be seen in Golpark, Lake Town, Baguihati and other areas of Kolkata. A brawl also broke out between the bandh supporters and the police in Jadavpur.

The two-day nationwide strike will certainly hit several sectors. Common people may face severe difficulties. The chance of violence and the loss of property and life can’t be ruled out.

 

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