Bharat Bandh has been called by a joint forum of central trade unions on Monday and Tuesday to protest government policies that affect workers, farmers, and the general public.
During the Bandh, essential services may be disrupted. Over 20 crore formal and informal workers are expected to participate in the strike on March 28 and 29, with mass mobilisation of workers across the country to protest against government policies, The All India Bank Employees Association has said that bank employees will be joining the protest. The employees of the insurance sector will also join the strike.
The Union power ministry issued an advisory to all state governments and electricity authorities on Sunday, advising them to prepare to ensure the grid's maintenance and reliability during the bandh.
"All parties concerned may be advised to maintain close supervision of their regional network/control area and to report any contingencies to the appropriate SLDC, RLDC, and NLDC... Power should be provided to essential services such as hospitals, defence, and railways, among others "the warning stated.
The Maharastra government on Sunday evening invoked stringent sections of MESMA (Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act) as unions representing over 80,000 workers of power companies, MSEDCL, MAHAGENCO and MAHATRANSCO, threatened to go on two day strike.
The West Bengal government has cancelled all kinds of leaves for its employees on Monday and Tuesday after a 48-hour nationwide strike was called by the joint forum of central trade unions to protest the Union government’s policies affecting workers, farmers and the people.
“We are opposed to so many policies of the central government. But we follow a policy of not allowing disruptive strikes... So, we will initiate steps to keep life normal on the bandh days,” said a minister.
The Kerala High Court had restrained five trade unions in the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Kochi, from participating in the nationwide strike. Considering a plea filed by the BPCL challenging the trade unions in the company joining the protest, Justice Amit Rawal issued an interim order on Friday restraining the unions from going on strike. Thus, the unions of BPCL employees cannot join the protest now.