KCR Relents, Bandh not Called Off

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In an unusual decision chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao made a climb-down from his stubborn position on the demand of hiking the salaries municipal sanitary  workers. After a 13 day-long strike,  late Thursday night, he agreed to their demand and announced that municipal  workers’ salary would be hiked to Rs 12,500 and that of drivers to Rs 15,000. But, the hike is limited to Great Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) employees only.

KCR has been forced to take the decision, though partial, following the bandh call given by nine Left parties and support extended to it by all political parties across spectrum. For the first time, all political parties in the state, including YSR Congress and BJP, also joined chorus in spite of the fact that the bandh call is given by Left parties.

Realizing that his obstinate position was leading to a rare unity among the opposition parties and prospects of success of state-wide bandh ,  KCR chose to hike the salaries.  This led to late-night announcement that salaries of the municipal workers were being hiked. As per the announcement the salaries of sanitary worker would be hiked from Rs 8,500 to Rs 12,500 and that of drivers from Rs 10,200 to Rs 15,00 which amount to a hike of 47 per cent.

The Left parties, however, made it clear that the bandh would be observed as announced.The leaders of these parties, who met after the CM’s announcement, denounced that the government’s decision was incomplete. They said hike was confined to the GHMC employees only and ignored the municipal employees in the municipalities and corporations across the state. They said the government was resorting to arm-twisting to split the striking employees.

“CM KCR is anti-worker. Government should accept all demands of municipal employees. The bandh will continues,
the leaders told media after the meeting.

In the meantime, YSR Congress MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy also announced the support of his party to the Friday’s bandh.

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