RTC strike in T'gana enters 24th day; Fasting CPI leader shifted to hospital
Former CPI MLA K Sambasiva Rao, who began an indefinite fast two days ago in support of the striking employees of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC)
Hyderabad: Former CPI MLA K Sambasiva Rao, who began an indefinite fast two days ago in support of the striking employees of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC), was shifted to a government hospital here by police on Monday after his health caused concern. Rao, who launched his fast on Saturday last, was admitted to the state-run Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in the early hours of Monday as his blood pressure and sugar levels were down, police said.
Sambasiva Rao, however, claimed that he was continuing his fast in the hospital. Condemning police action in shifting him to hospital, he said Telangana people would not appreciate if the TRS government headed by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao conducted a "police rule". Sambasiva Rao recalled that he, like MLA, had supported the indefinite fast undertaken by Chandrasekhar Rao for a separate Telangana. Former Congress MP V Hanumantha Rao and the leaders of RTC employees unions expressed solidarity with Sambasiva Rao. Meanwhile, RTC employees and the activists of Congress and other opposition parties held protests on Monday in support of the strike which entered the 24th day on Monday.
Talks between the TSRTC management and unions, held on Saturday for the first time since the workers went on strike on October 5 over various demands, failed to achieve a breakthrough as there was no consensus on the agenda. Different employees and workers unions of TSRTC began the indefinite strike from October 5 across Telangana on a call by the Joint Action Committee (JAC), demanding merger of RTC with the government and recruitment to various posts, among others. The striking employees, workers of opposition parties and others have been organising protests in support of their demands and against the government in the state since then.
Ruling out discussions with the unions, the government had said the stir by nearly 48,000 employees was illegal as they caused immense inconvenience to the public. The High Court had on October 18 directed the RTC and employees to hold talks and settle all their disputes before October 28 and report to the court about the settlement. Following the directive, the state government decided to examine the demands, other than the merger of TSRTC with the government. The Chief Minister on Thursday last ruled out any discussion on the merger and indicated that more buses would be taken on hire.