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Congress Firmly Backing Striking RTC Workers

Their problems were genuine and needed to be addressed immediately, the party said, adding that the employees were fighting democratically, and should not be portrayed as villains.
Hyderabad | 9th October 2019
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy advised Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao to show some serious concern over the inconvenience be ing faced by nearly one crore commuters due to the ongoing strike of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) employees and take measures to resolve the crisis.

Reddy alleged that the Chief Minister had first precipitated the RTC crisis by not addressing the problems being faced by employees, and was now trying to take advantage of the strike to initiate privatisation.

"KCR was silent on the RTC's issues for more than five years. He did not respond when the RTC unions served a strike notice as per the law. The drama of talks with employees' unions was enacted just 3-4 days before the end of the deadline, and after the employees started their strike over the non-fulfilment of demands, the Chief Minister personally entered the scene and announced the dismissal of more than 48,000 workers in a single stroke," he said.

"KCR's family is clearly eyeing the RTC properties worth more than Rs. 65,000 crore across the State, and wants their possession in the name of the corporation's revival plan. The Chief Minister is neither concerned about the inconvenience being caused to nearly one crore commuters nor bothered about the fate of over 48,000 employees whom he declared as 'self-dismissed'. He is creating a situation wherein his family members and friends can easily take over the RTC's valuable properties using the premise of the strike," he added.

The Congress leader demanded that the CM release a White Paper on the RTC's factual situation giving details of its assets, liabilities and dues from the government, and the taxes imposed on it. The report of the Sunil Sharma committee on the RTC's issues should also be placed in the public domain, he said.

Reddy said that the TSRTC employees had been serving the people of Telangana for the last several decades despite facing severe hardships. Their problems were genuine and needed to be addressed immediately, he said, adding that the employees were fighting for their rights democratically, and should not be portrayed as villains.

The Congress leader advised the Chief Minister to change his approach towards the issue and resolve the crisis in an amicable manner. He said that personal egos and agendas should not be given prominence over the convenience of the people and the interests of the employees.

TPCC Working President Ponnam Prabhakar demanded that IT Minister K T Rama Rao react on the strike. He said that KCR had promised to merge the corporation with the State government before the Assembly elections, and asked KTR, who he mocked as having shot to fame as Kalvakuntla Twitter Rao for his alacrity in reacting to any issue using his Twitter account, if that was the reason he was silent on the strike of the corporation employees - that he had no defence.

Prabhakar claimed that the employees were making justifiable demands, and said that the families of the employees would come onto roads if the government failed to resolve the issue.
filed in:  Telangana, Buses, Transport, Strikes, Bus Strike, TSRTC, Protests, Telangana Congress, KCR, Gudur Narayana Reddy, Ponnam Prabhakar
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