Hyderabad: The Congress party on Sunday strongly criticised Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao for going ahead with privatisation of Road Transport Corporation despite the fact that the matter was pending in the High Court.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) National Spokesperson Dr. Dasoju Sravan, in a media statement on Sunday, said that it was illegal and unconstitutional on the part of KCR Cabinet to approve 50% privatisation of RTC while ignoring the fact that over 48,000 employees are on strike seeking corporation’s merger with State Government.
The cabinet should have discussed about the serious remarks made by the High Court against the State Government and the officials who furnished incorrect information. It is highly regrettable that KCR cabinet did not show any respect towards the High Court which is hearing the matter,” he said while asking whether the Chief Minister was trying to bull doze the institution of High Court.
Sravan said that the Chief Minister has already committed a series of mistakes on the RTC issue and now he was trying to cover them up in the name of cabinet decision. “Instead of misleading the people through press conferences, KCR must first convince the court that the RTC strike was illegal and all the demands raised by employees were not justified. He must clarify to the High Court that the statistics furnished by the officials were not incorrect. He must have kept all decisions in abeyance until the matter gets disposed off in the High Court,” he said.
The Congress leader expressed wonder over the cabinet’s decision to privatise 5,100 routes. “It appears that it was KCR himself who created circumstances that provoked RTC employees to go on indefinite strike which he used to privatise the corporation.
On what basis 5100 routes were privatised? Which are the routes that were opened to private parties and who identified them? Was KCR already in touch with some private companies who expressed interest in operating in those routes?” he asked while alleging that KCR’s son and minister K. Tarakarama Rao had faced allegation of favouring of some private travel operators in the past.
He reminded that one of the private companies launched its services from Pragathi Bhavan when other private travel operators were objecting to their entry in Hyderabad. He said there was a larger conspiracy that needs to be exposed.
Sravan ridiculed KCR for accusing RTC employees of resorting to blackmail tactics by going on strike during festival time. He said it was KCR who is blackmailing employees by saying that he would privatise remaining 50% routes if employees do not rejoin duties by November 5. He accused KCR of playing with the lives and careers of nearly 50,000 employees and their families.
“It is ridiculous on the part of KCR to blame unions and opposition parties for the suicide and deaths of RTC employees in the last one month. It was KCR’s illegal announcement that nearly 48,000 RTC workers were ‘self dismissed’ that instilled fear of insecurity among employees with few of them resorting to suicide and others dying of heart attack.
KCR must clarify if the workers were ‘self dismissed’ and then whom he is asking to re-join duties. Where is the order copy of ‘self dismissal’ of nearly 48,000 employees and where are the orders for re-instatement of same employees who join duties by November 5? A democratic government cannot be run on oral orders. KCR is not a king who can issue oral ‘Firmans’ from his throne,” he said.
The AICC Spokesperson said that the employees have given most part of their lives to the RTC serving people every day. Therefore, they cannot be thrown out of jobs with a single stroke and cannot be asked to return to duties unconditionally.
The employees, he said were fighting for their justified demands and they must be fulfilled. Asking employees not to get disheartened with the insane statements of the Chief Minister, he asked them to continue the struggle till they get justice.
“Our country is run according to the Constitution and not as per the whims and fancies of an individual or group of greedy ruling party leaders. The courts will deliver justice and prove that law of the land was above everyone, including KCR,” he said while announcing that the Congress party would support the RTC employees till they win the battle against an arrogant and inhuman TRS Government.
Sravan also urged all the employees unions to support the RTC workers. He said if today KCR beats RTC unions, then tomorrow he would finish off employees’ unions in all other departments and institutions.
The employees will have no voice and no representatives to raise their issues and seek any rights. He alleged that KCR wanted to turn all government employees into slaves who ask no questions and once he succeeds on RTC issue, he would eventually finish off the existence of TGOs, TNGOs and all other unions in the State. (INN)