The Karnataka Chief Minister’s statement comes after the stir by government transport workers in the state entered the third day on Saturday.

Farmers outfit instigating striking transport employees Karnataka CM Yediyurappa
news Protest Sunday, December 13, 2020 - 08:42

The Karnataka government on Saturday alleged that a farmers' outfit was instigating the striking employees of state transport corporations and said it would rope in private operators from December 13 to offer services. This is after the stir by government transport workers entered the third day on Saturday.

Appealing to the agitated employees to call off their strike, Yediyurappa in a statement alleged that Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha President Kodihalli Chandrashekhar is 'instigating' the workers to continue their stir. Chandrashekar led a protest in Bengaluru on Thursday against the state government's recent land reform and anti-cattle slaughter law and government transport organisation workers were a part of the protest.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Lakshman Savadi after the meeting with the CM and Home minister Basavaraj Bommai said the government would rope in private operators from December 13 to offer services. "The ticket fares would be similar to that charged in government buses," he said.

The minister said the government was willing to end the deadlock by holding discussions, but the employees should return to work.

However, employees of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation and North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation are firm on their demand that their salaries be on par with state government staff.

Their other demand includes compensation similar to the COVID-19 frontline staff in the event of an employee dying due to the virus.

On Saturday, very few buses of BMTC and other corporations operated as staff stayed away from work and staged protests at bus terminuses in district and Taluk headquarters.

Barring sporadic incidents of stone-pelting on some buses, the protests were by and large peaceful, police said.

There were also some instances where drivers and conductors were allegedly abused by the workers, they said In Bengaluru — some workers at a protest at Majestic, the Central Bus stand of the KSRTC and BMTC, were taken into custody.

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