Members of India's communist parties have organized a one-day nationwide strike to protest the sharp rise in gasoline and diesel prices and the privatization of a state company.
In New Delhi, the activists braved police barricades and water cannons and gathered in the heart of the city, disrupting traffic. Elsewhere thousands of trucks and other commercial vehicles remained off the highways, bringing the transport of goods to a halt.
The protests highlight the rise in tension between the powerful left, which has 61 seats in a 545-member parliament, and the ruling coalition led by the centrist Congress party.
Left leaders said Tuesday's action was a warning for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's 13-month old government, but it was not aimed at bringing it down.