Nationwide strike evokes mixed response in Chhattisgarh

Raipur, Jan 8 (PTI) The day-long nationwide strike called by the central trade unions against the government's alleged anti-worker and anti-farmer policies evoked a mixed response in the Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh on Wednesday.

Key sectors like banking and insurance witnessed partial impact on their functioning during the 'Bharat Bandh'.

Several nationalised banks were closed as their employees joined the strike.

Similarly, employees of insurance companies, post offices, anganwadi workers, farmers also joined the stir, affecting the operations in their respective sectors.

Transport services were normal and shops, markets and business establishments remained opened in the state, where the normal life remained largely unaffected.

Mining activities in the mineral-rich state were partially affected.

A trade union leader, however, claimed that the strike had a 'huge impact' in the state.

Thousands of employees and workers affiliated with trade unions, independent federations and some state government departments took part in the strike in various districts.

'They held rallies to protest against the anti- labourer, anti-farmers and anti-people policies of the government, said Dharmraj Mahapatra, convener, Joint Forum of Trade Unions.

The strike-call was given by all central trade unions, excluding BMS.

Akhil Bharatiya Kissan Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti (ABKSSS) and Jan Ekta Adhikar Andolan also supported the strike, he said.

The strike was observed in support of issues like controlling inflation, providing employment, social security to workers, fixation of minimum wage at Rs 21,000, abolishing new pension law, stopping disinvestment of PSUs, scrapping new Motor Vehicle Act, providing higher MSP to farmers for their produce and farm loan waiver, among others, Mahapatra he said.

Farmer leaders, during a protest in Dhamtari district, also slammed the Centre over the proposed NRC and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

They said the NRC should not be implemented as poor people, tribals and Dalits of Chhattsigarh, who do not possess certain documents, will not be able to prove their citizenship, said Sanjay Parate, regional chief of the Chhattisgarh Kisan Sabha.

A large number of protesters courted arrest during the protest in Dhamtari, he added.

However, a police official said, Around 107 agitators courted arrest during the protest in Dhamtari town and were later released.' Due to the strike, production was completely stalled in the Manikpur coal mine of state-owned South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) in Korba, while it was partially hit in Kusmunda, Gevra and Dipka coal mines of the district.

Agitators held protests at several places in the state capital Raipur and gathered at Sapre School ground to hold a rally.

No untoward incident was reported from any part of the state. PTI TKP RSY RSY