The TSRTC employees unions, spearheading the 16-day-old indefinite strike pressing various demands, on Sunday (October 20) announced it would intensify the agitation with a slew of protest programmes over the next few days.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Telangana State Regional Transport Corporation (TSRTC) unions held a meeting here with different political parties and peoples organisations and chalked out agitational programmes in varied forms to be held from October 21 to 27.
The TSRTC JAC convenor E Ashwathama Reddy told reporters that a sit-in by RTC workers and their families would be organised on Monday, in front of all bus depots in Telangana. The protest programmes would include deeksha by women conductors in front of all depots, a meeting with all public representatives, and road blockade. “On October 27, Diwali will not be celebrated,” Reddy said.
Nearly 48,000 employees of different unions of the corporation began an indefinite strike on October 5 across the state on a call given by JAC demanding its merger with the government, pay revision, among others resulting in state-run buses staying off the roads causing inconvenience to commuters.
RTC employees and workers on Sunday held protests and took out rallies raising slogans against Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. Ruling out discussions with the agitating unions, the TRS government had saidthe employees stir was “illegal” as they caused immense inconvenience to public.
The Telangana High Court had on Friday directed the RTC and the employees to sit across the negotiating table and settle all their disputes before October 28. In view of the ongoing RTC strike, an additional 50,000 passengers were travelling daily by metro trains as against an average of 3 lakh daily travellers, the Hyderabad Metro said.
Hitting out at the Rao government for not resolving the ongoing strike, BJP national general secretary Arun Singh said the party would take up the matter with the Centre.
Accusing the Chief Minister of behaving in an “arrogant, adamant and insensitive” manner, the BJP leader claimed that is why they (KCR government) were not complying with the High Court order and not respecting the sentiments of the people. “Definitely, we are going to take up the issue with the Centre. They are not responding to High Courts order to resolve the RTC strike,” Singh told reporters here.
Claiming that the TRS government had promised merger of the RTC with the government, Singh accused it of going back on its promise. He charged the state government withtaking the transport corporation on the path of privatisation.