Jaipur, Feb 20 (IANS) Public transport and banking were affected in the Rajasthan capital Wednesday on the first day of the two-day countrywide strike called by various unions protesting the government's alleged anti-people and anti-labour policies and inability to control price rise.
Though schools and colleges were open in the city, attendance of students was thin as buses and autorickshaws stayed off the roads.
Raj Bihari Sharma, state general secretary of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, said the strike had support from the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation's employees union and other transport unions.
"No auto, mini-bus or low-floor bus and other transport vehicle has plied on the roads since morning," said Sharma.
Sharma added that at least eight lakh employees in Rajasthan were on strike.
"These employees are associated with nationalised banks, the state-owned transport corporation, cement industry, hotels, retailers, mining, engineering and other services. The strike will continue tomorrow (Thursday) also," Sharma said.
He added that the strike has been called by 11 registered trade unions in Rajasthan.
"We are protesting against untamed rise in inflation, poor implementation of labour laws and increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), among other things," said Sharma.
Bank consumers had to suffer as all nationalised banks remained closed in Jaipur since morning.
Transactions worth crores of rupees are likely to be affected due to the strike. Employees of about 6,500 branches of various nationalised banks in Rajasthan are striking, and the branches are closed, Sharma said.
A senior education department officer told IANS: "The schools are open, but the strike has affected attendance. However, as parents were already aware of the strike, many of them made alternative arrangements to take children to school."