The upcoming elections, the restrictions imposed because of it and the programmes organised by political parties because of it, have rained on the May Day parade on Wednesday. In preceding years, the day was marked with programmes for blue collar workers, with each political party elaborating their achievements for the downtrodden. This year, however, activities have been quietened with political leaders either busy with campaign programmes, or clamped down due to the model code of conduct.

“As the general secretary of the trade union — CPI(M) candidate Vasant Achari — is standing for elections, we could not organise many programmes,” said Sunil Kumar Bajal, district president of the CITU which usually organises numerous programmes to mark the day. “Because of the elections, the programmes could not capture the essence of workers’ problems and solutions. The main aim of May Day is to rally the people for their rights. But this time, the meaning was lost,” he said.

The only major programme for the workers was the meeting organised by the Bunder Shramikara Sangha, a union of loaders in the port. Drinking water facilities was demanded for by the group of 150 workers at the meeting. However, the leaders who were present ept their speeches and assurances to a minimum citing the code of conduct.