Opposition parties in Telangana flayed the decision of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to likely sack close to 50,000 employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) for going on strike.
As about 50,000 employees continued their strike for a second consecutive day, paralysing bus services across the state, KCR on Sunday evening said that there was no question of taking back employees who did not join duties before the deadline set by the government. The Chief Minister announced that only 1,200 employees were now left in the TSRTC.
"BJP strongly condemns the thoughtless and provocative decision taken by Chief Minister KCR on the striking employees of TSRTC, by declaring that all those who didn't heed his warning are dismissed. KCR has no right to take this unilateral action without any substantial reason. His order will be challenged in courts and can never be actually implemented," Telangana BJP President K Laxman said in a statement.
"KCR seems to be clearly forgetting that we are a nation with legal framework and he can't take such knee jerk decisions overnight on thousands of employees," he added.
The BJP also pointed out that several RTC employees were active participants in the Telangana agitation for separate statehood and added that a 'thankless' KCR had now betrayed them.
"KCR with his brazen decision to dismiss RTC employees is trying to impact thousands of employees and their families and drag them on to the roads during festival season. This is the reward KCR wants to give to the employees in the state for having fought alongside for Telangana formation," the Telangana BJP chief said.
Taking to Twitter, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief Uttam Kumar Reddy said, "Telangana Congress severely condemns CM KCR’s threats to dismiss TSRTC employees. We stand by RTC employees and will participate in all their struggles against this dictatorial attitude. We fully support their demand for the merger of RTC into the state government."
Other Congress leaders like MLC T. Jeevan Reddy and TPCC working president Ponnam Prabhakar also lashed out at KCR.
Speaking to reporters in Hyderabad, Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka said, “We are convinced that the chief minister is preparing to hand over the corporation to a private company belonging to a ruling TRS member. He knows that the corporation which is already in debts could be easily privatised. People of Telangana should understand this conspiracy and resist it."
Many people also took to social media to voice their support for the employees, with the hashtag #IStandWithTSRTC.