Hyderabad: The RTC staff strike entered the 13th day on Thursday, but there was a sliver of hope late on Wednesday night that the issue could move towards resolution. It was not to be, but the door has not been shut.
Throughout the day, there was no movement in response to the High Court’s call to the government and the RTC workers to end the strike. The RTC Joint Action Committee said that it was waiting for an invitation from the government. Nothing was forthcoming till the evening.
Then came the news that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao was holding a review meeting, and the expectation
was that he would constitute a committee of three ministers to resolve the strike.
There was a certain basis for the expectation. Mr Rao is scheduled to address a meeting at Huzurnagar on Thursday evening for the October 21 byelection and it was expected that he would go with an announcement in hand.
Besides, the High Court has asked for a report from the government on October 18 regarding the strike.
Past 10.30 pm came the official word that the meeting was about panchayat raj affairs.
Sources close to the Chief Minister’s Office, however, said the meeting was held to discuss the RTC strike, but Mr Rao deferred to certain views expressed by officials.
Mr Rao is said to have asked the officials to come for discussions on Thursday.
Sources said the government had asked three senior IPS officers — Dr R.S. Praveen Kumar of the residential schools society, civil supplies commissioner Akun Sabharwal and inspector-general Stephen Ravindra — to be available in the city. They had been shortlisted to be appointed as vice-chairman and MD.
Earlier in the day, RTC JAC convener Ashwatha-ma Reddy declared that the workers would continue their strike as there was no invitation from the government for negotiations.
On the other side, transport minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar and officials held a video conference, and instructed the
RTC and transport department authorities to resume all services from October 19.
About the meeting, the Chief Minister’s Office in a late night statement said that Mr Puvvada Ajay Kumar, Mr Gatika Ajay Kumar, a mandal praja parishad president from Warangal, and other members of the Panchayat Raj tribunal, met Mr Rao at Pragati Bhavan and
discussed the successful completion of the 30 days action plan for villages.