Bharat Bandh 2020 Updates: TMC, CPM spar over violence in Bengal; parties without political existence indulging in cheap tactics, alleges Mamata Banerjee

FP Staff

Bharat Bandh 2020 Updates: Hitting out at the Left and the Congress, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday that those who don't have any political existence in the state are trying to ruin its economy by pursuing "cheap politics" of strikes.

Two MPs of Left parties were among 800 workers of eight trade unions who were arrested in Comibatore on Wednesday while attempting to stage a demonstration as part of the nationwide strike. As the workers attempted to stage demonstration near the district collectorate, police arrested them, reports PTI.

Banking services in Madhya Pradesh were affected on Wednesday due to the nationwide strike called by 10 Central trade union to protest against the Central government's "anti-labour" policies. The National Capital largely remained unaffected by the nation-wide strike called by trade unions on Wednesday, though most industrial workers stayed away from work.

Till noon, around 55 people were arrested from different parts of the city for allegedly trying to block vehicles, stall government buses or forcibly stop shopkeepers from opening their establishments, a senior officer of the Kolkata Police told PTI.

The nationwide strike called by the trade unions against the Centre's labour and economic policies have turned violent in West Bengal's Malda district CNN News18 reported.

Police vehicles have been set on fire. In retaliation, the state police fired tear gas shells and rubber bullets to disperse protestors. The National Highway 34 has been shut.

In the nationwide strike called by ten trade unions against the Centre's wrong labour and economic policies, about 25 crore workers are expected to join the strike on Wednesday.

Services at public sector banks across the country are expected to be affected in the Bharat Bandh on Wednesday. However, private sector banks may not be affected during the strike. Apart from banking services, transport and other services across the country are likely to be hit on Wednesday.

ATM services across the country are expected to be affected in Wednesday's general strike.

However, the strike may not affect the net banking facility as the NEFT services are available round the clock now.

Most of the banks have already informed stock exchanges about the Bharat Bandh and its impact on banking services, reported PTI.

Various bank employee associations, including AIBEA, All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), BEFI, INBEF, INBOC and Bank Karmachari Sena Mahasangh (BKSM), have expressed their willingness to participate in the strike.

Banking services like deposit and withdrawal, cheque clearing and instrument issuance are expected to be impacted due to the strike.

However, services at private sector banks are unlikely to be impacted.

Nearly 25 crore people are likely to take part in the all-India strike on Wednesday to protest against the government's "anti-people" policies.

Country's leading lender State Bank of India (SBI) said the strike is set to have minimal impact on its operations adding very few SBI employees will be a part of the six bank unions participating in the strike.

However, Bank of Baroda expressed concerns that the strike could hit its operations.

Last week, state-owned Syndicate Bank said it was taking necessary steps for the smooth functioning of its branches on Wednesday.

In a BSE filing, the lender said it received notice from the AIBEA, BEFI, INBEF and INBOC on the proposed one-day strike.

Other than banking, transport and other key services are also likely to be disrupted in many states due to this nationwide strike call.

In West Bengal, trade unions affiliated to Left and other parties called for a bandh against the economic policies of the BJP-led government at the Centre.

However, the state government said it will not support any bandh.

Meanwhile, in Kerala, the trade unions exempted the state's tourism sector from Wednesday's general strike.

Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) Society hailed as "exemplary" the decision by political parties and trade unions to exempt the state's tourism sector from Wednesdays general strike.

"Any employee going on strike in any form, including protest, would face the consequences which, besides deduction of wages, may also include appropriate disciplinary action," said an office memorandum issued by the government.

"Suitable contingency plan may also be worked out to carry out the various functions of the ministry/department," it added.

Trade unions INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC along with various sectoral independent federations and associations had adopted a declaration in September last year to go on a nationwide strike on 8 January 2020.

"The Ministry of Labour has failed to assure any of the demands of workers which called a meeting on January 2, 2020. The attitude of the government is that of contempt towards labour as we construe from its policies and actions," the 10 CTUs said in a joint statement.

"We expect participation of not less than 25 crore of working people in the forthcoming National General Strike on 8 January 2020, to be followed by many more actions seeking reversal of the anti-worker, anti-people, anti-national policies of the government," it said.

€" With PTI inputs

Also See: Bharat Bandh: Transport, banking hit in several states as Left, Congress-backed unions go on strike; vandals torch vehicles in Bengal

Bharat Bandh 2020: Banking, transport services set to be impacted as trade unions call for strike against Centre's labour policies

Bharat Bandh 2020: Banking services impacted in most parts of country; several ATMs go dry due to trade union strike

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