The nationwide strike called by trade unions on Sept. 2 to demand for higher minimum wage passed off peacefully, with stray incidents of violence being reported from the tradition Left bastions of West Bengal and Kerala. Mumbai went about with its usual business, while normal life was hit the most outside the two red bastions in the states of Odisha and Karnataka.
The day had started off on a quite note, with the Left parties, including the CPI(M), taking to the streets to protest against government policies in general and the non-fulfilment of their demands in particular. These protests turned violent at some places, resulting in incidents like buses being vandalised in West Bengal, or clashes in Kerala.
With all forms of transport coming to a standstill in the earlier part of the day in most places in these two states, many people found themselves at their wit's end when faced with the proposition of having to venture out for emergencies. The situation eased towards the evening, but by then the strike had been quite successful in Kerala. This was the case in West Bengal as well, despite a stern warning from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to any person joining the strike.
Meanwhile, an official statement from the Union Ministry for Labour and employment said: "No report of loss of life or property was reported from any part of the country." It also said about the effect of the strike: "While Kerala and Tripura were affected, Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh were partially affected. In other states, the strike's impact remained negligent."
Even otherwise, public transport stayed off the streets in cities like Bengaluru, while Karnataka saw protests in several parts. State transport corporations, cabs and autos had much in advance said they would be part of the strike, and held true, leading to deserted streets, even as IT companies based in the city worked. The streets, bereft of traffic, were praised by many people on social media, who claimed they negotiated otherwise busy junctions or thoroughfares in a matter of minutes.
The protests were also widespread in Odisha, where trains were stopped at a number of stations.
Mumbai seemed the least-affected of the major cities, with normal transport services witnessed right from the morning. The Delhi and NCT region also saw mostly normal transport and other services throughout the day.