Kochi/Thiruvananthapuram: The Left trade unions’ plan to inflict more pain on the public with 72-hour strikes has been viewed with concern by members of the public, including legal experts, and leaders of other political parties. Coming down heavily on the left trade unions for such drastic steps, they have demanded legislation to prevent such strikes.
Such extreme measures are seen only in north-eastern states and terror-affected areas, said BJP state president V Muraleedharan. “Though we have not discussed the issue within our organisation, I’m of the view that hartals and public strikes should only be the last resort of protests. If carried out, a 72-hour hartal would bring life to a standstill and no organisation should engage in such drastic steps,” he said.
Bringing legislation to ban public strikes of this nature is the need of the hour, opined legal expert advocate K Ramkumar. “A 72-hour hartal would be a violation of the Supreme Court order and the fundamental rights under the Constitution. Such strikes and hartals hold people to ransom. It’s a blatant violation of people’s right. And it’s high time legislation is made to control such activities,” Ramkumar said.
The Left trade unions' plan to inflict more pain on the public with 72-hour strikes has been viewed with concern.
CPI state secretary Panniyan Raveendran maintained that it would be an employees’ strike and hence would not affect public life. “It’s going to be like the 48-hour lock-out that happened in Britain. The decision for the 72-hour strike taken by the joint council of all the trade unions is a continuation of the February 28 strike. It won’t be a hartal. Such long hartals will only be there in states like Assam and Nagaland,” Panniyan explained.
According to M M Lawrence, state secretary of CITU, though the social and political mould in Kerala is unique, the state cannot be excluded from the plans of the Left trade unions to finetune future public strikes on a minimum three-day or 72-hour pattern. “Kerala should think on the lines of India and the state cannot remain apart,” he said.