Cracks in Telangana movement, some back to work

Cracks are appearing in the ‘people’s strike’ for a separate Telangana state with a section of employees of the Road Transport Corporation (RTC) on Monday calling off the protest and returning to work.

After talks with Transport Minister Botsa Satyanarayana, leaders of the National Mazdoor Union (NMU) announced that they were calling off the strike in view of the inconvenience caused to the people of the region.

Following NMU’s decision, officials of the state-run RTC declared that the buses would run with police security.

RTC managing director Prasada Rao hoped that all bus services would resume in two to three days and appealed to all employees to return to work.

Over 10,000 RTC buses continued to remain off the roads in Hyderabad and nine other districts of Telangana for the 22nd day on Monday.

The management is running some services, mainly in Hyderabad, with the help of private drivers.
However, the Joint Action Committee of RTC employees’ union said the strike in RTC would continue.

NMU represents a section of about 60,000 RTC employees in Telangana.

The Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), which is spearheading the strike, alleged that the government with the help of some unions from Andhra region was trying to create divisions among ranks of Telangana employees.

"There is no question of calling off the strike till the centre makes a clear-cut announcement on formation of Telangana state," said JAC convenor M. Kodandaram.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K. Chandrasekhara Rao said the leaders of NMU come from Andhra region and made the announcement after talks with a minister from Andhra.

He said a Telangana unit of NMU would be formed under the leadership of employees hailing from Telangana.

In another development, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has warned Telangana protestors of stern action if they disrupt coal production, transport services and educational institutions.

Kodandaram and other JAC leaders were Sunday arrested when they were heading towards mines of the state-owned Singareni Collieries, where employees have been on strike for nearly a month.

The chief minister also appealed to teachers to end the strike in the larger interest of the future of students.

The government Monday invited leaders of teachers’ unions for talks. Government employees, teachers and workers of Singareni company have been on strike since Sep 13.(IANS)

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