Hyderabad: The BJP alleged that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao was eyeing the RTC’s valuable lands, the Congress said the government’s `2 per litre VAT on diesel was burdening the RTC and driving it into losses.
The CPI said it would hold a meeting in the next couple of days to decide on its alliance with the TRS for the Huzurnagar byelection.
This was the fall out of Mr Rao firmly refusing to negotiate with striking employees and denying their main demand of the RTC merger with the government.
BJP state president K. Laxman said “During the Telangana movement, KCR said many words for self-interest, all of which were forgotten when he came to power. He is now acting like a tyrant.” Holding the government responsible for running the TSRTC into losses, Dr Laxman said the government had no right to take action against striking workers. “KCR is conspiring to privatise the RTC,” he said.
BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao said, “There’s a well-thought-out plan. TSRTC has very valuable assets in the form of high-value land across the state. The decision to dismiss almost all RTC mployees is only optics. It’s to create fear and uncertainty amongst the employees and bring division within the unions. It’s certain that KCR will eventually propose a merger and make it look like he is heeding to the demands of the employees.”
Telugu Desam’s Telangana state president L. Ramana said “During the agitation for the separate statehood KCR had said that RTC employees should get facilities similar to the Central government employees. After coming to power, he has totally neglected them.”
Though the CPI had announced its support to the TRS in Huzurnagar byelection, the party may review its decision following the government’s stand on the RTC strikers.
CPI state secretary C. Venkat Reddy said, “supporting the TRS is a political decision but we support the employees as the CPI is a labour-oriented party. Hundreds of CPI members supporting the RTC employees have been arrested across the state.”
Asked whether the CPI would withdraw support, Mr Reddy said, “We are observing the situation. In one or two days a meeting will be held if any decision would have to be taken by the party.”
Congress leaders came forward and condemned the sacking of 48000 RTC employees. Congress Legislative Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka alleged that Mr Rao was conspiring to privatise the TSRTC by showing losses. He pointed out that the government was collecting Rs 2 VAT on each litre of diesel, which was a big burden on the RTC which consumes 20 crore litres of diese.
Addressing a protest by RTC employees at the Kamareddy bus depot on Monday, senior Congress leader Shabbir Ali said “KCR announced the decision as if he was the dictator of Telangana and he would punish anyone who refuses to listen to his orders.” He said the government had not appointed even 48 employees in the RTC.
“His decision was insane and insensitive and will not be tolerated. RTC staff have a democratic right to protest and go on strike seeking fulfillment of their demands. The Congress will support RTC workers till their demands are met,” Mr Shabbir Ali said.
Tollywood actor and Jana Sena chief Pavan Kalyan expressed concern over of removal of 48,000 staff and extended support to the RTC employees. He appealed to the Chief Minister to sympathetically consider the demands of RTC employees....