Millions of workers in India have begun a 24-hour strike to demand improved rights for employees and to protest over rising prices.
Tuesday’s strike, one of the biggest in recent times, is being backed by all 11 major trade unions in the country, including the left affiliated All India Trade Union Congress [AITUC] and Indian National Trade Union Congress [INTUC] linked to ruling Congress party, local television station NDTV said.
In the capital, New Delhi, and the financial hub, Mumbai, the effect of the strike was minimal. Banks and insurance offices were closed but buses and taxis plied the streets and shops were open for business.
Al Jazeera’s Prerna Suri, reporting from New Delhi, said: "In states like Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura where the communist parties have presence, local agitators have blocked roads and rails and commuters have harrowing times."
In the southern city of Hyderabad, memebers of Left-wing parties have clashed with the police during their protest.