On Day 2 of the indefinite strike called by the service organisations affiliated to the Left political parties and the BJP, claims and counter claims flew thick and fast about its success and attendance in offices.
Service organisations affiliated to the ruling coalition claimed the attendance improved on Wednesday compared with the previous day, only to be countered by the other side.
The strikers were keen to paint the uptick in attendance in a few offices to the presence of anti-strike employees who couldn’t attend office on Tuesday because of the bus strike.
Unconfirmed reports stated that out of the 1,357 employees in the civil station, 662 turned up for duty on Wednesday. This, it is pointed out, is an improvement of about 5-10 per cent compared to Tuesday. The withdrawal of the private bus stir has had a positive impact on the attendance.
However, the pro-Left NGO Union said the government machinery had blown up the figures to create a false impression. The Union claimed that less than 10 out of the 180 employees at the collectorate reported for duty. The strike, it said, had also affected the functioning of taluk, village, panchayat and income tax offices as well as treasury in the district.
Both sides took out protest marches on Wednesday. Though striking employees sat outside the entrance of the civil station shouting slogans there was no attempt to block those who reported for duty.
There was a flare-up during the strike when some Kerala Students Union (KSU) activists protested against the striking employees in front of the Corporation office and District Medical Office. The activists ploughed into the crowd of protestors, leading to a scuffle. The police team led by sub-inspector of Town Central Station A. Ananthalal intervened to diffuse the tension. Cases were registered against four KSU activists in connection with the incident.