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Will RTC Strike Adversely Affect TRS In Huzurnagar?

The by-elections may be used by the electors who have been subjected to hardships for lack of bus transport, to show their resentment.
Hyderabad | 20th October 2019
Will the unresolved state-wide RTC strike adversely impact the ruling TRS in the by-election for Telangana's Huzurnagar Assembly seat, the polling for which will take place on Monday?

Uncertainty is looming large in the ruling party circles in the wake of the RTC strike gaining steam due to the adamant posture of the State administration.

The Huzurnagar by-election necessitated after TPCC President and sitting MLA Uttam Kumar Reddy vacated the seat upon being elected to the Lok Sabha. His wife Padmavathi Reddy, who faced defeat in a nearby constituency in the Assembly elections in December of last year, is now trying her luck in her husband's constituency as the Congress nominee. And the ruling TRS which lost the seat to Uttam Kumar Reddy in the last elections is keen to wrest the seat this time. Thus it is a prestigious election for both TRS and the Congress, and both the parties have left no stone unturned to woo the electorate.

Though the BJP and the TDP are also in the field, the contest appears to be mainly between the TRS and the Congress.

The TRS to boost its chances had succeeded in garnering the support of the CPI, which has a considerable clout in the district. However the RTC strike has put a spanner in the wheel for the TRS with the CPI withdrawing its support to the ruling party as a protest against the adamant attitude of Chief Minister Chandrashekar Rao to initiate negotiations to resolve the strike.

KCR's approach to the strike has in general not helped matters so far. The CM appears to have tried a divide and rule approach when he invited and resolved the pending issues of the TNGOs and the electricity employees but refused to budge on the demands of the RTC employees, hoping to isolate the latter. However the efficiacy of that is not clear as of now. And with the buses remaining off the roads for a fortnight, the striking staff gained support and sympathy from other trade unions, the Opposition parties, students and teachers' organizations.

The High Court is also piling on the pressure on the government now. Taking a serious view of the unending strike, the HC went to the extent of directing the TSRTC management to initiate talks on October 19 and setting a deadline of October 28 to resolve the issue. However KCR seemed to have preferred ignoring the judiciary's directive over inviting the striking employees for talks.

As the stalemate continued with the buses remaining confined to the depots, some striking employees resorted to extreme methods like attempting suicides given the uncertainty of the fate of the 48,000+ employees who were declared by KCR as "self-dismissed", which is being used as artillery by critics of the CM. And the by-elections in Huzurnagar may be used by the electors there who have been subjected to hardships for lack of bus transport, to show their resentment - and that would very likely be a relection of the general mood in the entire State.
filed in:  Telangana, KCR, TRS, Elections, Assembly Elections, By-Elections, Strikes, Buses, Transport, Bus Strike, TSRTC
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