State-wide bandh pass off peaceful; Govt defy Court directive, remains rigid

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Hyderabad: With no indications from the government in sight of the Telangana High Court verdict, the JAC leaders of various trade unions of striking 50,000 TSRTC employees threatened to intensify their agitation.

The news reports quoting the CMO that the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao, who held a review meeting late on Friday night, has given nod to senior RTC officials to hold talks with JAC leader turns out to be farce.

A senior TRS leader on condition of anonymity wondered how can Court make such unsavory comments like ‘what if people revolt against the government and take to streets.’ In a democratic set up, he said, courts cannot make such provocative comments against an elected government.  He also found fault with the HC for not advising the agitating employees to call off the strike.

He further claimed that in the Court’s report, there is no time-frame to hold talks as being reported in the media. The Court had only asked the government to settle the ongoing issue, which is causing inconvenience to people, and submit a report by October 28.

In that backdrop, he said his government has sufficient time to study and may as well invite JAC leaders for talks, if they withdraw their ‘merger’ as precondition.  He stoutly denied that neither KCR nor anyone in the government had ever made such promise.  “The Opposition’s claim of KCR making such promise during the separate statehood struggle is only their figment of imagination,” he added.

Meanwhile, the bandh passed off peaceful except sporadic incidents of mild cane-charge by the police to disperse agitating employees in some of the Corporation depots.  JAC leaders claimed the bandh as grand success. However, shops remained open in Greater Hyderabad areas as the police posted in large numbers to avoid any untoward incidents.

Moreover, the agitating employees too knew that its festive season and they cannot cause damage to business houses, which may as well send wrong signals as well lose public sympathy.

As a precautionary measure, huge posse of uniformed personnel were posted near the bus depots by laying barricades to prevent the agitating employees causing any damage to Corporation properties.  Police also arrested senior Opposition leaders, including the Congress. the BJP, CPI, CPM and other trade union leaders of AITUC, INTUC, besides others, who came out to express their solidarity to agitating RTC employees’ and bandh.

“We are aghast to see how the Chief Minister chose to remain unperturbed and brazenly defy the court directives.  We expected an invite from the government, but we have not received yet.  Doesn’t it expose autocratic rule of KCR,” alleges several JAC leaders.

Senior Congress leader Batti Vikramarka alleged that KCR government using brute police force to scuttle the voice of the agitating employees.  He said their demands are genuine and the demand to merger the Corporation too was made by none other than KCR himself during the separatist movement.  “How can he deceive his own people who supported him and his party and gave such mandate? Should he need the High Court’s intervention on behalf of people to overcome the inconvenience caused by his government?” he asked.

BJP state unit president, K Laxman felt the famous adage ‘vinase kale viparitha budhdhe’ which aptly applies to the adamant attitude chief minister KCR.

Another former MP and BJP leader G Vinod alleged that the hidden agenda behind KCR’s adamant attitude is to privatise the corporation.  He and his family also set eyes on prime properties of Corporation which runs into crores of rupees.

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