The dawn-to- dusk motor strike, called by a joint committee of various trade unions in Kerala to protest against the spiralling fuel prices in the country, was successfully organised on March 2 in the state. All trade unions, except the Bharatiya Janata Party-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) had given the call for the motor strike.
State-run KSRTC buses did not operate while taxies, auto-rickshaws and private buses remained off the roads across the state since the agitation began at 6:00 AM. Commercial vehicles including trucks and lorries were also not plying to express solidarity with the stir, called by the Samyuktha Samara Samithi, an umbrella organisation of various trade unions. The strike continued till 6 pm on Tuesday.
Though the committee requested all private vehicles to keep off the road, they made it clear that they won't block such vehicles. While the BMS kept away from the agitation, all other major trade unions including the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) extended their support.
The price of Petrol in Kerala is at Rs 91.64 per litre as of Tuesday, while the price of Diesel in the state stood at Rs 86.23 per litre.
The Vypara Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi, the organisation of merchants in Kerala, also declared their solidarity with the strike. However, the union leaders on Monday said shops would function as usual.
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All the exams scheduled for Tuesday have been postponed in the southern state. The Senior School Leaving Certificate Exam (SSLC), Plus Two Exam, and Vocational Higher Secondary Exam (VHSE) also have been rescheduled to March 8, government sources said. The APJ Abdul Kalam Technology University and Kerala, Kochi, Kannur and Mahatma Gandhi universities have also postponed all examinations scheduled in view of the 12-hour- long vehicle strike.
Hotels and Restaurants Association Protest
Kerala Hotels and Restaurants Association representatives on Tuesday protested against rising prices of cooking gas in the country by shaving their heads, in front of the Indian Oil Corporation office in Kochi.
The hotels and restaurants in Kerala have been facing losses due to COVID-19. After the pandemic was brought under control, the hotels and restaurants across the state re-started their operations. But, the spiralling price of cooking gas has again derailed the hopes of hotel and restaurant owners in the state.
(With inputs from PTI)