Is The RTC Strike A Nemisis For KCR & TRS In TS?

Hyderabad, Oct.18 (Maxim News): The ongoing 14-day old strike by the Telangana RTC employees might become the nemesis for Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhara Rao who has bungled and mishandled in resolving the escalating crisis.

The RTC employees after giving due notice to the State Government for resolving their demands, which includes merger of the corporation with the state government, payment of long overdue arrears etc., struck work from October 4. With the buses off the roads just before the Dusserah festival, the people all over the state were put to innumerable difficulties.

Though the State Government claimed that it had made alternate arrangements like pressing into service private buses including those belonging to schools and colleges, employing temporary drivers, increasing the number of metro train services, etc, the lack of regular bus services failed to mitigate the sufferings of the commuters.

An astute politician KCR who is known to exploit to his advantage any adverse situation, seemed to have miscalculated and misjudged the strike by the RTC employees. What is more, apart from not yielding to the pressure tactics of the RTC employees for holding talks, KCR even tried his old trick of divide and rule policy by holding talks with the NGOs and conceding their demands much to the chagrin of the striking transport employees.

What seems to have come as the proverbial last straw for KCR was his draconian action of terminating the services of 48000 out of 50000 striking RTC employees in one go. With this harsh decision KCR seemed to have thought that he could subdue the striking employees, but instead it has only steeled the determination of the RTC staff to step up their fight.

At a time when the ruling TRS is trying to take on the Congress in the bye-elections in Huzurnagar Assembly constituency in a prestigious electoral battle, the RTC strike has caused a dent in the pink party headed by KCR. The Chief Minister received a jolt when the CPI withdrew its support to TRS in the electoral battle to snub the government’s inaction in resolving the bus strike. With two employees committing suicide and many others trying to end their lives, the striking RTC employees gained the support of various political parties, trade unions, teachers and students.

KCR who was in the forefront and led the unprecedented separate Telangana movement, wherein he had called for innumerable strikes, dharnas, rastha and rail roko programmes, umpteen bandhs during which period hundreds of students and youth committed suicide for the cause of a separate state, is ironically now trying to crush the strike by the RTC employees who had struck work for over 45 days during the Telangana agitation.

Taking cognizance of the sufferings of the people including the continued closure of educational institutions for utilizing their buses, the High Court has taken to task both the Government and the striking RTC employees. While going hammer and tongs at the government in allowing the strike to escalate, the High Court had directed the state administration to resolve the issue by holding talks with the RTC staff and the same time advised the striking employees to take steps to resolve the issue by agreeing for talks. Though the High Court set a deadline for resolving the crisis by today (October 18), there was no sign of any serious attempt by the government to hold talks with the employees, who on the other hand stuck to their guns. Meanwhile the Joint Action Committee of RTC employees have given a call for a state-wide bandh, which was being supported by various opposition parties and trade unions. To pre-empt the state wide bandh, the state administration has already started arresting the JAC leaders.

It is pertinent to note here that the central government has been keeping a close watch on the situation in Telangana State in the wake of the RTC strike. The State Governor Tamilisai Soundarajan has even rushed to New Delhi and submitted a report to the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister. She even tried to mediate in the matter by inviting the State Transport Minister to Raj Bhavan for talks. However, the minister instead of him meeting the Governor has deputed an IAS Officer to brief her about the situation.

Thus the Chief Minister with his Hitlerian posture in resolving the RTC strike has undoubtedly rung the death knell for himself and his ruling TRS. (Maxim News)

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