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On Day 5, Mumbai BEST Strike Continues as Meeting Fails to End Impasse

Shashank Rao, president of the striking BEST Workers’ Union on Saturday said the committee chaired by Maharashtra chief secretary ​ heard out to their demands but did not give any response.

Chaitanya Mangure | CNN-News18

Updated:January 12, 2019, 6:31 PM IST
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On Day 5, Mumbai BEST Strike Continues as Meeting Fails to End Impasse
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Mumbai: The strike called by BEST bus employees entered day 5 on Saturday as the meeting between the high power committee formed by the state government and BEST employees union leaders failed to break the standoff.

Shashank Rao, president of the striking BEST Workers’ Union on Saturday said the committee chaired by Maharashtra chief secretary ​ heard out to their demands but did not give any response. “The meeting was positive, we told them about our problems and demands. They understood our problems. But the strike will continue,” Rao said after the meeting.

The high power committee has asked the BEST union to submit their demands in writing. The committee will submit a report to the Bombay High Court on Monday.

Meanwhile, MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande urged striking employees not to end the strike till demands are fulfilled, he said. “MNS stands by you. If there is no solution till Monday, then the government will be responsible for the ‘Tamasha’ that will happen in Mumbai.”

Congress leader and Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam alleged Shiv Sena of conspiring to ruin BEST. “It is the conspiracy of Shiv Sena to finish BEST. Most of the BEST employees and commuters are Marathi, still the Shiv Sena is not coming up with a solution. Uddhav Thackeray thinks that the ‘Thackeray’ movie is more important than BEST employees and commuters,” Nirupam said.

To provide relief the commuters, 2,000 buses were put on road by private bus operators and school bus owners on Saturday. Anil Garg, member of school bus owners’ association had announced on Friday that 1,000 school buses and 1,000 other private buses would be pressed into service on Saturday in view of the continuing BEST buses’ strike.

Over 32,000 employees of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) are on strike since Tuesday and its fleet of 3,200-odd buses are off the metropolis' roads, causing severe inconvenience to several lakh commuters.

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| Edited by: Debdeep Mukherjee
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