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Why did KCR soften his stand on RTC staff?

Why did KCR soften his stand on RTC staff?

Till a couple of days ago, Telangana Rashtra Samithi president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao appeared to be adopting a stubborn stand on the employees and workers of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) who had been on strike since October 5.

KCR was so tough on his stand that he declared that all those who were on strike were dismissed and mentioned the same in the government’s affidavit filed before the high court.

He said the RTC cannot be brought back to the pre-strike period at all and the chapter of RTC was closed.

The RTC management also told the court that it required Rs 640 crore per month to bail out the corporation and the state government was not in a position to pay even a single rupee.

Even when the helpless RTC employees announced that they were withdrawing their strike, he did not call the striking leaders for talks.

And when the employees sought to report to their duties on Tuesday, he got them arrested by the police. 

And with the high court giving green signal to the privatisation of RTC routes, the employees had lost all their hopes on getting back their jobs. They were only hoping for a solution in the labour court.

Suddenly on Thursday evening, things changed dramatically. KCR showed tremendous magnanimity towards the RTC employees and asked them to report to the duty without any issues and assured to take care of all their welfare in future, provided they do not fall into the trap of opposition parties and union leaders.

He also invited the RTC employees to Pragati Bhavan for an interaction to understand all their problems.

He declared that there would be no privatisation and in fact, said he thought of handing over the private routes to the RTC employees, if at all he wanted to do any privatisation.

How come there is this sudden change of heart in KCR?

The Bharatiya Janata Party leaders claimed that KCR had to come down and soften his stand towards the RTC employees only under pressure from the Centre which threatened to intervene if he did not resolve the issue.

The TRS leaders, however, say KCR always had soft corner towards the employees, but he was angry with them for falling into the trap of the opposition. He ensured that the government gained complete grip over the RTC by presenting a strong argument in the high court.

Once the union leaders gave up on their demands and declared that they were calling off their strike and the employees started revolting against the leaders, the chief minister worked out the bailout plan.

However, KCR has revealed that it was high court chief justice Raghavendra Singh Chowhan who had prevailed upon him to come to the rescue of RTC workers.

The chief minister happened to meet the CJ at a function in Raj Bhavan three days ago, where the latter asked KCR to take a sympathetic view of the RTC employees’ lives and their families. That changed the mind of KCR!

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Tags: Telangana KCR TSRTC RTC strike