Bharat Bandh: Strike over govt’s economic policies interrupts banks, transport services
About 250 million people across at least 12 states including Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Assam engaged in the nationwide strike, said Tapan Sen, general secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions. Farmers in many of the states joined in street blockades, ” he said.
They are demanding the government rein in cost rises and unemployment, provide social security for employees, stop disinvestment in certain state-owned businesses and halt overseas investment in railways, insurance, coal and defense sectors. The trade unions are seeking”reversal of the anti-worker, anti-people, anti-national policies of this authorities,” they said in a joint statement.
Although State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest, has stayed out of the attack, operations of other state-run banking and insurance institutions will be affected, ” he said.
We’re concerned about the planned changes in labor laws and the government’s plans to privatize and merge banks without attacking the major problem of bad loans,” Venkatachalam said.
“They’ve been doing this kind of strikes in every one or two years with many demands,” said Prakash Javadekar, the minister for information and broadcasting who interacts with media on government policy. “It does not have any impact.”
The strike is being held at a time when Modi is grappling with the slowest economic growth because 2009, an unemployment rate that has surged to a more than four-decade high and mass protests against his Hindu nationalist agenda.While general strikes are not uncommon in India, Wednesday’s protests mark the newest in a series of street demonstrations. Modi has been facing opposition over his new religion-based citizenship legislation and Sunday’s violent attacks on students and professors by masked assailants in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.