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Strike hits banking, transport services

  Banking as well as public transport services were thrown out of gear in West Bengal and Kerala on Monday as thousands of workers began a two-day nationwide strike against various policies of the government. The “Bharat Bandh” was near-total in Left-ruled Kerala and in some districts of TMC-ruled West Bengal. The response was good in parts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu too. In Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, the coal sector was affected the most. All-India Bank Employees’ Association general secretary CH Venkatachalam said that services were severely affected in the eastern states. “More than 20 crore workers took part in the bandh,” claimed AITUC general secretary Amarjeet Kaur. Essential services like healthcare, power and fuel supplies were unaffected.