Large Protest in India

The secret behind the man identified by the deputy prime-minister as the possible shooter at the factory that produces PUMA shoes could trigger such a mass protest.

Living wage is another possibility.

Price of gasoline is going up in Cambodia while the price on the global market is going down.

This is another possibility.

The opposition is always accused of being behind any protest. I think that by putting these issues under the carpet and looking at scapegoats, the government is showing its incompetence.

The opposition jumped from 2 to 11 seats at the January Senate e lection. Why?

Local elections are just 3 months ahead.

These are very local issues.

We have reasons to hope for more gains despite all odds: massive vote buying and the partial role of the National Election Committee.

Millions of Indian workers strike for rights

The strike is a headache for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in wake of weakening economic growth [Reuters]

Millions of workers in India have begun a 24-hour strike to demand improved rights for employees and to protest over rising prices.
Tuesdays strike, one of the biggest in recent times, is being backed by all 11 major trade unions in the country, including the left affiliated All India Trade Union Congress [AITUC] and Indian National Trade Union Congress [INTUC] linked to ruling Congress party, local television station NDTV said.
The strike marks the latest test for Manmohan Singh’s government, which has has been shaken by a succession of corruption scandals and popular protests sin ce the prime minister’s Congress party won a second term in 2009.
The governments appeal on Monday failed to impress the unions, who want the government to take measures to contain inflation, provide universal social security cover for workers in the vast unorganised labour sector, and to stop selling stakes in state-run companies.
“We will have to think about our future course of action if the government does not come forward with proposals on how it will react to our demands,” G Sanjeeva Reddy, president of INTUC, told Reuters news agency.
The strike threatens to disrupt transport and port operations, while banks and post offices could also be closed.pan>
Workers from state-run telecom companies and postal department will also join the shutdown, which comes amid weakening economic growth and a slew of state-level elections.
Last week, the country’s labour minister said the government was ready for talks on any labour-related issues, NDTV website reported.
But AITUC leader Gurudas Dasgupta rejected it saying, “The government had enough opportunity earlier to sit with unions to discuss the issues”.
Bond market volatility
The protests are not expected to significantly affect banks and financial markets in Asia’s third-largest economy, but traders said there could be some volatility in the bond market if volumes are lower than normal.
“Volumes could be lower, but settlement should happen,” said a senior dealer at a state-run bank.
Hit by high interest rates, stubborn inflation and a stuttering reform agenda, India’s economy is expected to grow by about seven per cent in the fiscal year ending March, compared with earlier expectations of about nine per cent growth.
Congress is currently fighting five state elections, including one in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous state.
Tuesday’s strike will be India’s 14th general strike since the country opened up its economy with major reforms in 1991.

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