As the State government has toughened its stand on the eight-day-old strike by Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) employees, the Joint Action Committee of TSRTC employees unions too has hardened its stance by announcing a week-long intensive protest programme, including a call for State bandh on October 19.
The TSRTC-JAC, along with representatives of political parties and other employees and trade unions supporting the strike, launched by the employees in support of their long-pending demands, including merger of the corporation with the government and protection of its valuable properties, on Saturday held a meeting and chalked out an action plan to intensify their strike.
As per the protest programme finalised at the meeting, the RTC employees on strike, along with the activists and supporters of Congress, BJP, Telangana Jana Samithi, CPI, CPI(M) and TDP, would participate in mass lunch on roads by cooking food there on October 13 followed by sit-in protest and public meetings in front of the bus depots on October 14 and rasta roko (road blockade) and forming human chains on October 15.
On October 16, student bodies would take out processions in support of RTC employees strike, cultural programmes ('dhoom-dham') would be staged on October 17 and two-wheeler rallies would be taken out on October 18, in the run-up to the State bandh call for October 19. Several political parties and employees bodies have extended support to the RTC strike and awareness will be created among people on the necessity of the strike during the run-up to State bandh, TJS president M. Kodandaram said after the meeting.
The meeting was attended by TSRTC-JAC co-convenor M. Thomas Reddy, State secretary of the CPI(M) Tammineni Veerabhadram, V. Hanumantha Rao (Congress) and R. Chandrasekhar Reddy (TDP), among others.
Meanwhile, the CPI criticised Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Raos statement that there would be no talks with striking employees of the RTC, forgetting the key role played by RTC employees in the statehood movement and that talks were the only way to find a solution to any problem. The party suggested the Chief Minister hold talks with RTC unions. The party was also rethinking its support to TRS in the Huzurnagar byelection, State secretary of CPI Chada Venkat Reddy said in a statement.