Nara Lokesh decries attempt to 'suppress' Anganwadi staff stir
- Says the Anganwadi employees, Asha workers are fighting their rightful demands
- Points out that they are only asking the YSRCP govt to fulfil the promises the party made before 2019 elections
Vijayawada: TDP national general secretary Nara Lokesh on Tuesday criticised the YSRCP government for 'ruthlessly suppressing' the ongoing agitation of Anganwadi and Asha workers.
He said the government was resorting to illegal arrests when the Anganwadi staff were just agitating for their rightful demands. They only urged the government to fulfil the promises the YSRCP made to them during the 2019 elections. In a statement here, Lokesh recalled how Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy roamed every village in the state before the elections and made huge promises to Anganwadi workers but later betrayed them.
He accused the YSRCP government of getting the peacefully agitating Anganwadi staff arrested only to end their protests. The ruthless suppression of their agitation only exposed the dictatorial attitude of the Chief Minister. The government was giving a raw deal to the frontline workers who risked their lives during the Covid pandemic, he added.
The TDP leader asked whether it was a crime on the part of the Anganwadi employees to demand Rs 26,000 minimum wage along with retirement benefits. They were asking for paid medical leave and Rs 50 lakh ex gratia for in-service deaths along with a job to a member of the family. They were pleading not to remove ration cards and continue welfare benefits.
He said the Asha workers were recognised as frontline workers but they were not given facemasks, hand gloves and other safety material during the pandemic. No compensation was paid to the Asha workers who died while working with the Covid-19 medical teams. It was inhuman to arrest the workers when they were agitating for compensation, insurance facility and holidays, he said.