CHENNAI: DMK MLAs are soon to draw salary exceeding Rs 1 lakh every month on a par with their colleagues in other parties following the party’s move to revise its decision to reject the pay hike announced last year.
Last year, the Tamil Nadu government made an announcement of a quantum jump in the salary for legislators, raising it to Rs 1.05 lakh from Rs 55,000 per month, when the bus workers’ protests were raging.
The employees of the state transport undertakings then resorted to strike demanding a 2.57 times hike in salary but they could end up with 2.44 times after the intervention of the Madras High Court.
The government cited financial crunch as the reason for rejecting the plea of the bus workers and said the strike was instigated by trade unions affiliated to the opposition parties including the DMK and CPM.
Stoutly opposing the pay hike for legislators, DMK working president and Leader of Opposition MK Stalin had declared that his party MLAs would not receive the hike until the bus workers’ demand was met.
His decision to reject the pay hike had led to murmurs among a section of the legislators because they felt they were spending much more than what they were paid.The trade union leaders passed a resolution last month regarding the issue. “We passed a resolution last month urging the DMK to reconsider its decision because the issue surrounding our salary hike is not yet over,” a senior trade union leader told Express. He added that since the bus workers had been given a hike of 2.44 times, they were contemplating approaching the Supreme Court.
“As we are going to approach the Supreme Court, we thought it was fair to make the plea to DMK,” he noted.Subsequently, the party has decided to review its decision of not taking the hike. It has let its mind known to the Assembly Speaker by handing him a letter along with a copy of the resolution of the trade unions. “We have handed a letter written by Deputy Leader of Opposition along with a copy of the resolution to the Assembly Speaker,” a DMK leader said.The Speaker is expected to issue necessary orders to enable the legislators of the principal opposition party soon.