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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.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

History repeats in Telangana: State bandh tomorrow

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The separate Telangana state is observing first state-wide bandh on Friday in support of the striking municipal health workers. It is for the first time that  chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who used bandhs and dharnas as a tool to mobilize people to achieve statehood to the region in the past  10 years. He lent legitimacy to bandhs in politics. Not a day passed without either a dhana or bandh being obsered somewhere by some organization in the state during emotive days of T-agitation. His followers were hit by police lathis and faced arrests. Now the same is happening even after the achievement of statehood, albeit in reverse order. TRS is now at the helm of affairs unleashing the police force to suppress the movement of municipal  sanitary workers. Incidentally, the ruling party was the first political outfit to call for a bandh in Mahabubnagar district last week in support of Palamuru irrigation project.

These workers have been on strike for two weeks demanding a hike in the salaries.

The bandh call is given by all Left parties in the state protesting the police highhandedness on the leaders of these parties yesterday.

T-Police attacked the protest camp and dispersed the workers, and  arrested  the senior leaders. Among those arrested were Tammineni Virabhadram (CPM), Chada Venkata Reddy (CPI) T Venkataramaiah, S Venkateswarlu (New Democracy),Janaki Ramulu(RSP), B Surender Reddy (Forward Block), Murahari (SUCI), Bhutam Veeranna (CPIML), Md Gouse (MCPIU), women activist Asha Latha and Pasya Padma.

Thursday state Congress expressed solidarity with Left Parties and striking employees. Telangana PCC president N Uttam Kumar Reddy, in a statement, urged the people to support the bandh. “Instead of addressing the issues of municipal employees, the TRS government has unleashed the repression against the hapless employees. It is unfortunate that government is using the police to silience the voice of employees,” Uttam said.

Party working president Bhatti Vikramarkah said the demands of municipal workers were genuine and should be conceded to immediately.

“The chief minister who speaks of poor day in and day out is behaving dictatorially when the really poor confronted him,” Bhatti said.

Similarly, BJP also extended support to the bandh call.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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