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Telangana Protesting Workers Intensify Agitation, Plan Week-long Programme As CM Rao Unwilling to Negotiate

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced that the Dussehra holiday for schools has been extended till October 19 and necessary arrangement are being made to restore transport facilities.

PV Ramana Kumar | News18

Updated:October 12, 2019, 11:16 PM IST
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K Chandrashekar Rao
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. (PTI file photo)

Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said that there will be no negotiation with the workers on strike as they will not be treated as employees of the corporation under any circumstances.

The chief minister also announced that the Dussehra holiday for all schools has been extended till October 19 and necessary arrangement will be made to restore transport facilities.

Rao reviewed the situation, arising from the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation's (TSRTC) strike, with state transport minister Puvwada Ajay Kumar, minister Sabitha Indra Reddy and other senior officials.

“100% RTC buses need to be restored. Hire retired drivers of RTC, police and experienced people who can drive heavy vehicles,” Rao told them.

Officials have been ordered to pay salaries to workers not on strike for September. Officials were instructed to immediately hire 50% more RTC buses — 30% on rental basis and 20% private — as stage carriages.

Rao said that 408,000 workers have lost their jobs by following irresponsible trade union leaders and the government has not dismissed a single one.

Ajay Kumar said that Rao had never promised he would take steps to merge the TSRTC with the government.

“The BJP, which is in power at the Centre, is privatising Indian Railways, airlines and even the Secunderabad Railway Station. The central government has said in its budget that it will raise funds by withdrawing investments in various public sector undertakings. If their government does this, the leaders of the party are saying the opposite to their policy,” said Rao, urging Director General of Police Mahender Reddy to increase security at RTC depot and bus stand.

With the government not planning to comply with their demands,the TSRTC Joint Action Committee has unveiled a weeklong protest programme.

The striking employees will organise 'vanta varpu' or cooking on roads across the state on October 13. The JAC has called for sit-in and protest meetings in front of bus depots on October 14. The next day it will organise road blockades and form human chains.

Student organisations will take out rallies in support of the JAC on October 16. The striking employees will take part in 'Dhoom dhaam' (cultural programmes) on October 17 while two-wheeler rallies will be organised the next day.

'Vanta varpu' and 'Dhoom dhaam' were the unique protests organised during the movement for statehood for Telangana. RTC employees claim to have played a key role in achieving Telangana's statehood.

All opposition parties, which are backing the striking employees, are expected to extend support to the October 19 shutdown.

The employees have been on strike since October 5 to press for their demands, including merger of TSRTC with the government.

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