HYDERABAD: In the absence of any word from the State government or the TSRTC management, the striking employees’ JAC on Sunday announced a week-long agitation programme from October 21. In a bid to further exert pressure on those in power, the JAC has also resolved to hold a massive public meeting ‘Janula Samara Bheri’ on October 30, with help from opposition parties, students’ and trade unions, and caste-based organisations.
The decision to this affect was taken at a meeting of JAC leaders and political parties at Sundarayya Vignana Kendram, headed by TSRTC JAC convenor Ashwathama Reddy. CPM’s T Veerabhadram, CPI’s Chada Venkat Reddy, TJS chief M Kodandaram, veteran Congress leader V Hanumanth Rao, senior BJP leader AP Jitender Reddy, TDP state chief L Ramana and JAC leaders Thomas Reddy and Raji Reddy also attended the meeting.
The week-long agitation will begin with RTC workers, along with their families, protesting at all the bus depots across the State on October 21. On October 22, the temporary drivers running the TSRTC buses will be requested to refrain from their duties and come out in support of the strike. On October 23, the union leaders would meet all the peoples’ representatives and ask them to take up the issue with the government. On October 24, all the women staff would stage protests in front of depots across the state. On October 25, all the National Highways in the State would be blocked by the protesting workers to bring all traffic to a standstill. On October 26, the workers’ children would stage a protest in front of the bus depots.
The meeting also questioned the silence of AIMIM leadership on the issue and demanded them to clarify their stand. Speaking to media after the meeting, JAC leader Ashwathama Reddy said, “We expected the CM to hold talks after the court’s direction, but so far there has been no word or even feeler from him. We have left with no choice but to intensify our agitation.” Refuting all allegations that opposition parties were behind the strike, he clarified that the political parties were only extending their support to the cause and that the agitation was being run entirely by the workers’ unions.
TJS chief Kodandaram asserted, “We are not going to fear or surrender to threats from the government. RTC workers’ demands are genuine. We will fight for their demands until they are accepted.” According to CPM secretary T Veerabhadram, the success of state bandh organised by the striking RTC workers should be an eye-opener for the chief minister. TDP state chief L Ramana demanded the government to release a white paper on RTC properties in the court. Veteran Congress leader V Hanumanth Rao and BJP leader AP Jitender Reddy assured their support to the TSRTC JAC.
APSRTC Staff and Workers’ Federation, general secretary, Ch Sundaraiah informed that RTC workers of Andhra Pradesh would stage a protest in support of the TSRTC workers on October 24 and that a similar protest would be organised in Tamil Nadu.