PEDDAPALLI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has high hopes for the upcoming elections to the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) trade union. The term of the current unions is coming to an end in October. It is hard at work gathering any support it can get in the Peddapalli Lok Sabha constituency. It wants to do well here so that it can go into the municipal body elections with its head held high.
In the Assembly elections held in December 2018, several SCCL workers and their families had voted against TRS candidates. They had accused the State government of not keeping its promises such as increasing salaries, correction of documents and so on.
Former Peddapalli MP G Vivek and former RTC Chairman Somarapu Satyanayarana, both of whom recently left the TRS to join BJP, have become key players. Both senior leaders had exited TRS after differences with the party’s leadership. Vivek is not a new face to the coal miners. He has worked with them from the time his father G Venkat Swamy was the Peddapalli MP. Both of them were in Congress then. Vivek has, in recent times, invoked the memory of late Chief Minister YS Rajashekar Reddy, under whose leadership he had worked. Several employee-friendly initiatives were spearheaded by the Reddy government.
Currently, Vivek is trying to get leaders of TBGKS, a trade union affiliated with TRS, to join BJP. Sources said K Mallaiah, a former president of TBGKS, might don saffron colours soon.
Speaking to Express, Vivek said the party was committing to increasing its presence in the Singareni coal belt area. “We will definitely win in upcoming trade union elections,” he said. He said he was confident BJP would win handsomely in the upcoming urban local bodies as well.
It may be recalled that earlier, the elections to recognised trade unions were held in 2012 and 2017. However, in 2017, the Central Labour Commission had reduced the tenure of the unions to two years.