The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the CPI(M)-led LDF in Kerala demanding countrywide ban on pesticide endosulfan disrupted normal life across the state on Friday.
Early reports from across the state said public modes of transport like buses, taxis and autorickshaws were off the road, crippling the mobility of the people.
Pro-Left unions in the transport sector have extended their support to the hartal.
The hartal did not affect the train services but people who arrived at major stations by long-distance trains faced difficulty due to the absence of city buses, taxis and autos.
The protest coincided with the last day of the current round of meeting of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in Geneva, where the question of global ban on endosulfan has figured prominently.
The Left parties want India to join the nations pressing for the global ban of the pesticide.
For quite some time, Kerala has been pressing for a nationwide ban on the deadly pesticide, whose use over the years left scores dead and forced several hundreds to live in chronic health problems in parts of Kasargode district.
Though Congress in Kerala supported the demand, the party has criticised the LDF’s hartal call dubbing it as a political move to cast the UPA Government in poor light.
Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Thursday wrote to his counterparts in other Indian states and sought their support for the cause.
The 87-year-old veteran Marxist leader himself had led a day-long fast on the issue earlier this week.