Most of the roads across the state, including in capital Kolkata, wore a near deserted look as a large number of taxis, auto-rickshaws and private buses did not ply.

Passengers at the busy Howrah and Sealdah railway stations and office-goers had a harrowing time with no taxi or bus to avail.

There were reports of buses being vandalised in several parts of Kolkata and Howrah. While most of the private schools remained shut, the attendance at government schools was negligible with most of the parents preferring to keep their children at home.

"After struggling to get a conveyance to reach my child to school, I found it nearly empty. Most of the students and teachers and even the principal is absent. I do not support such kind of politics of disruptions," said a parent.

Left Front major Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activists took out rallies in many parts of the city and the state in support of the strike.

While Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has repeatedly called on the people to foil the strike, her government has issued circular directing government employees to compulsorily report on duty, threatening to treat their absence as 'dies non'.

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