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INDIA was brought to a standstill for a second day today as an estimated 200 million people nationwide took strike action against the right-wing government.
Roads were blocked across the country and public transport was shut down in a number of areas, including West Bengal, Kerala and Mumbai.
Police responded by arresting scores of protesters, having already detained Communist Party of India (Marxist) leaders in West Bengal on Tuesday, on the first day of the strike.
Ten unions affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (Citu) called the action after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government rejected their 12-point charter of demands, which included a rise in the minimum wage and measures to boost the economy.
They are angry at “irrational” proposed amendments to the country’s employment laws, warning that they threaten independent trade unions’ ability to operate.
The Citu said the government has continued its “aggressive attack with arrogance on the lives and livelihood of working people.”
Farmworkers joined the strike, as did large swathes of the public and private sectors. Marches took place across India and there was a large rally outside the parliament building in New Delhi.
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