TSRTC strike: Talks looks elusive inspite of High Court directive to Govt

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(Online Desk)

Even after 24 hours since the Telangana High Court has directed the State government to initiate talks with the striking TSRTC employees’ unions to beak the deadlock, there were no signs of any initiative to call the employees to the negotiating table on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the agitating employees called for state-wide bandh on October 19 and almost all Opposition parties, besides other government employees associations have extended their solidarity and support.

The employees kicked off a strike nearly two weeks ago demanding, among other things, a merger of their corporation with the state government. Rejecting outright their principal, as well as other, demands, the government went on the offensive and declared that only those who reported for duty were TSRTC employees, while the others (about 48,000 staff) ought to consider themselves dismissed from service.

Hopes soared on Tuesday when the high court asked the government to initiate talks and be generous while dealing with their demands, but there were no indications of ice melting from the government’s side.

The high court wanted to know why the government was averse to holding talks with the TSRTC employees and pointed out that it was the government’s duty to resolve the crisis.

Even as the employees were saying they were ready for talks, the government had stuck to its guns that it would continue making alternative arrangements to ease the difficulty in public transportation.

Transport Minister P Ajay Kumar, at a video conference with TSRTC officials earlier in the day, was informed that 64 per cent of the TSRTC fleet was on the roads as on Wednesday. “The TSTRC is operating 6,365 of its 10,400 buses. The buses that were operated included 1,941 hired buses,” the officials told the minister.

Meanwhile, the TSRTC Joint Action Committee and Opposition political parties took the government to task for remaining “callous” to the direction from the Telangana High Court to take steps for holding talks. TSRTC JAC convenor E Aswathama Reddy said that they were ready for talks but were not ready to call off the strike as yet. “The strike will go on till we reach an amicable agreement on our demands with the government,” he said.

He added that they were expecting some initiative from the government to hold talks with the employees. “But we have so far not received any indication from the government that suggests it is interested in resolving the issue,” he said.

JAC, opposition parties lashed out at State govt for ‘callous’ attitude

The TSRTC Joint Action Committee (JAC) and Opposition political parties on Wednesday hit out at the state government for remaining “callous” to the directions of the Telangana High Court.

The court had told the government to take steps towards initiating talks with the protesting TSRTC employees. BJP leader and former MLC B Mohan Reddy accused the chief minister and other ministers of provoking the TSRTC workers and creating tension in the state.

TDP politburo member Ravula Chandrasekhar Reddy stated that the government should respect the high court’s advice to hold talks with the JAC. Raji Reddy, a leader of employees’ JAC said the protests will continue on Thursday and Friday in the run-up to the October 19 state bandh called by them. Former MP and state Congress working president Ponnam Prabhakar said his party would intensify its stir after the bandh if the government failed to resolve the issue by then

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