India is bracing for a complete shutdown today on February 28, as 11 major trade unions across the country have called for a dawn-to-dusk 'Bharat Bandh'. They are being supported by 8 lakh public sector employees.
While 11 trade unions are supporting the 'Bharat Bandh' call, 7 out of nine bank unions have joined the shutdown. Some Railways employees may too join the agitation.
The strike call was given in protest against rising prices, corruption, disinvestment of profit-making PSUs, violation of labour laws, discrepancies in salaries, pensions etc.
The trade unions that are participating in the strike include Congress-affiliated INTUC, Left-backed AITUC and CITU, Shiv Sena-backed Bharatiya Kamgar Sena and Indian Union Muslim League's trade-wing STU. Around 5,000 small unions, including Taxi, Auto and Vendors have also joined the strike.
Major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore have geared up to deal with the situation following the complete shutdown. Heavy security arrangements have been made in West Bengal, which is likely to be worst-hit, as Left parties are sponsoring the bandh there.
Public transport is likely to be affected, as many auto and taxi unions are supporting the strike call. Buses may remain off the roads in many parts of the country. Banking services will be worst-affected.