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As Telangana Transport Strike Enters 24th day, HC Expresses Dismay for Failed Talks, Govt Apathy

As Telangana Transport Strike Enters 24th day, HC Expresses Dismay for Failed Talks, Govt Apathy

The court hit out at the KRC-led government for not agreeing to give funds to the TSRTC for meeting some of the demands of the striking employees.

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Monday pulled up the K Chandrashekar Rao-led government in the state for not agreeing to give Rs 47 crore to the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) for meeting some of the demands of striking employees.

As the agitation entered its 24th day on Monday, the court also hit out at the management for not being able to resolve the issues as the impasse caused immense inconvenience to public.

On October 18, the HC had directed the TSRTC and employees to hold talks and settle all their disputes before October 28 and report to the court about the settlement. Following the directive, the state government decided to examine the demands, other than merger of the TSRTC with the government.

The chief minister on Thursday last ruled out any discussion on the merger and indicated that more buses would be taken on hire.

Expressing dismay for not any received any report on the matter, the court ask the chief secretary and finance secretary to remain present for the next hearing. The hearing was adjourned after the additional advocate general sought time to reply to a question on whether the government would give Rs 50 crore as directed by the court for the purpose.

Meanwhile, former CPI MLA K Sambasiva Rao, who began an indefinite fast two days ago in support of the striking employees, was shifted to a government hospital here by police on Monday after his health caused concern.

Rao, who launched his fast on Saturday last, was admitted to the state-run Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in the early hours of Monday as his blood pressure and sugar levels were down, police said.

Sambasiva Rao, however, claimed that he was continuing his fast in the hospital. Condemning police action in shifting him to hospital, he said Telangana people would not appreciate if the TRS government headed by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao conducted a "police rule".

Sambasiva Rao recalled that he, as an MLA, had supported the indefinite fast undertaken by Chandrasekhar Rao for a separate Telangana. Former Congress MP V Hanumantha Rao and the leaders of TSRTC employees unions expressed solidarity with Sambasiva Rao.

Talks between the TSRTC management and unions, held on Saturday for the first time since the workers went on strike on October 5 over various demands, failed to achieve a breakthrough as there was no consensus on the agenda.

Different employees and workers unions of TSRTC began the indefinite strike from October 5 across Telangana on a call by the Joint Action Committee (JAC), demanding merger of the corporation with the government and recruitment to various posts, among others.

The striking employees, workers of opposition parties and others have been organising protests in support of their demands and against the government in the state since then.

Ruling out discussions with the unions, the government had said the stir by nearly 48,000 employees was illegal as they caused immense inconvenience to public.

(With inputs from PTI)