A stunning 200 million people started a general strike in India against Prime Minister Modi. The workers have had enough of Modi’s government and his anti-trade union policies. Economic Times writes;

Ten central trade unions had called for a 2-day national strike, starting Tuesday, against what they call the anti-national and anti-worker policies of the BJP-led NDA government. 

Unions have threatened to follow this up with an indefinite strike if government does not heed to their demands.

The strikes have supporters amongst both public and private sector employees, making the resistance against Prime Minister Modi strong. The unions are taking a strong stand. CITU labour leader Tapan Sen said;

“This strike is a clear warning from the working class and toiling people of India that they were not going to take lying down the attacks on their basic rights and living conditions.

“It is a strong warning that policies that mortgage the country to corporate interests will not be tolerated.”

The markets have loved the Prime Minister Modi and his BJP party. Modi and BJP have been sensitive to investors’ concerns, proactively taking steps to help growth. One of the main actions have been pushing for more flexible labour laws.

Modi’s popularity have started to decline, spooking the markets. The Indian markets declined in December post Modi’s party losing state elections.  Investors are starting to take notice;

“The popularity has been going down since past few quarters. Many people who had a blind love for the government have started raising their doubts,” Vijay Kedia, MD, Kedia Securities told Moneycontrol. 

INDA US is the main ETF to watch. It has traded somewhat dull lately.

Given the fact India is up for general elections this year and with the possibility of 200 million people striking and rejecting Modi’s market friendly policies, could lay the ground for a potential election loss and a turbulent period.

INVIXN is the volatility index based on the Nifty 50 index options. Given the above, there seems very little risk priced for the world’s biggest strike to spark something bigger in India.

Source: charts by Bloomberg