Demanding that the Tirumala Tirupti Devasthanams (TTD) sanction Brahmotsavam Bahumanam (gift) to all its contract employees, workers under the banner of TTD Contract Workers Union staged a dharna at Alipiri check point here on Wednesday.
After the conclusion of the annual Brahmotsavams of Lord Venkateswara last year, the TTD had announced that `4,000 would be given to all contract workers each as Bahumanam. Later, the board decided to give Bahumanam only to those contract staff working atop Tirumala Hills only, not to their counterparts discharging duties down the hills in Tirupati.
Taking a strong exception to the decision, contract workers, along with several leaders of some affiliated units of the CPM, decided to stage a protest at the TTD trust board meeting held at Annamaiah Bhavan in Tirumala Wednesday. They boarded buses to reach Tirumala. But, the TTD security staff, who were apparently aware of the move, obstructed the protesters at Alipiri check-post itself.
With this, the workers staged a dharna at the check-post demanding that Bahumanam be given to all the contract staff.
Speaking on the occasion, TTD Contract Workers Union working president T Subramanyam came down heavily on the TTD board. “Granting Bahumanam to Tirumala employees only is a discriminatory move. The authorities must realize that the staff working down the hills are also serving to pilgrims equally as their Tirumala counterparts.” he said. The workers called off their stir after an official promise that the issue would be discussed in the TTD meeting and a decision would be taken at the earliest.