Hyderabad: It is almost as if the days of the statehood agitation are back. The RTC strike is becoming the magnet for diverse trade unions and associations and has also brought all opposition parties together.
There is one major difference. The TRS that led the agitation is now at the receiving end.
During the separate Telangana state movement, all opposition parties, unions of government employees, workers and teachers came together on one platform to put pressure on the Centre to grant statehood to the region.
In the wake of the RTC strike, opposition parties and government employees, workers and teachers association have aligned themselves together against the TRS government. The RTC Joint Action Committee is not quite the TJAC of Prof. M. Kodandaram, but is getting support from various quarters like All India Road Transport Coordination Committee and from student unions, apart from political parties.
The state government tried to extend the Dasara holidays, hoping that the students would stay at home and the RTC unions would not get their support. But student organisations are conducting protests in support of the RTC strike on various campuses.
In the pre-2014 era, all government employees, workers and teachers, including the RTC, went on a 42-day strike — the Sakala Janula Samme. If the RTC strike is not resolved soon, there is a fear that it could turn into another prolonged general strike. At that time, the TRS had encouraged employees unions to go on strike as a pressure tactic against the Centre. As the ruling party of the state, it is now under pressure.
During the statehood agitation, several students, unemployed youth and others had committed suicide. Now, two persons have ended their lives and three others have attempted suicide, sparking calls for RTC employees to calm down and not take the extreme step.
To force the Centre’s hand, the TRS had called for a bandh on several occasions. Now in power, it is facing a bandh call on October 19 given by the JAC. This is being supported by all non-TRS entities....