Thiruvananthapuram: The hartal in Kerala supported by the ruling LDF and the opposition Congress-led UDF to express solidarity with the protesting farmers who have called a nationwide 'Bharat Bandh', started early Monday morning.
Public transport, especially KSRTC bus services, was hit as almost all trade unions in the state are participating in the hartal, and people who had to travel opted for private modes of transport while others stayed home.
Trade union leaders, like INTUC state president R Chandrasekharan, had on Saturday said the state-wide hartal would be peaceful and there would be no blocking of vehicles or forced shutting down of shops.
While BJP had termed the hartal as "anti-people", the party's state General Secretary George Kurian on Saturday had said that while the trade unions affiliated to it are not supporting the strike, they would not be openly opposing it.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, spearheading the anti-farm agitation, announced "Bharat Bandh" on September 27 aiming at further strengthening and expanding the farmers' agitation which began in November last year.
The protesting farmers have been demanding the repeal of the laws, which they are afraid will do away with the MSP system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations....