Hyderabad: Former minister and ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana State Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir strongly condemned Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao sacking 48,533 Road Transport Corporation (RTC) employees for participating in the RTC strike.
While addressing a protest by RTC employees at Kamareddy Bus Depot on Monday, Ali Shabbir said that KCR announced the decision as if he was the dictator of Telangana and would punish anyone who refuses to listen to his orders. “KCR government did not appoint even 48 RTC employees. However, he dared to dismiss over 48,000 workers in a single stroke. His decision was insane and insensitive and will not be tolerated. RTC staff has a democratic right to protest and strike to fulfil their long-pending demands. Congress party will support RTC workers till their demands are met, and we will ensure that not a single employee loses their job,” he said.
Ali Shabbir blamed KCR for the present financial crisis in the TSRTC. He said the CM deliberately delayed a solution to the RTC problems to facilitate its privatisation. “KCR family and other TRS leaders have kept an eye on the invaluable properties controlled by RTC and wanted to capture them by diluting the powers of the corporation. They kept the problems of RTC employees unsolved for over five years which consequently forced the staff to go on strike. Taking advantage of the strike, KCR announced privatisation of RTC after sacking 48,000 employees. The present decision of KCR was not instantaneous, but the result of a deep conspiracy hatched a long time ago,” he added.
The Congress leader even pointed out that the former CM of Tamil Nadu Jayalalitha dismissed about 1.70 lakh RTC employees in 2003. However, the decision was reversed by the court, and all employees were reinstated. Similarly, he said that RTC employees would get justice from the court and KCR would be forced to eat his own words. Shabbir Ali noted that all demands raised by RTC employees were fully justified and must be fulfilled.
He asked all unions across Telangana to support the RTC workers. “KCR has tried to set a bad precedent by sacking thousands of employees. If tolerated now, then KCR will treat employees of all departments and corporations similarly. No unions and no employee will have a right to raise a demand or fight for their rights. All unions must back the RTC employees. Else, one after the other KCR will finish off all unions and privatise all departments. This dictatorial form of government should not be permitted under any circumstances, he said.