This time, unlike their 2015 agitation seeking increased wages, Pembilai Orumai leaders who were protesting against Kerala Electricity minister MM Mani for his alleged derogatory remarks, have called off their 20-day strike on Friday without achieving their demands.
However, leaders have announced that they would come back with a stronger protest on July 9 demanding land for tea estate labourers.
â€śGovernment has not taken any steps to end our protests. They turned a blind eye towards our demands. Moreover, CPI (M) went on campaigning against our labourers claiming that the minister had not said anything derogatory. Now we will come back after convincing them. We have not withdrawn our demand seeking ministerâ€™s resignation,â€ť Pembilai Orumai leader Gomathi told media on Friday.
KPCC general secretary Lathika Subash, Shanimol Usman and INTUC leader P A Joseph attended the function, calling off the protest.
â€śWe will start a big land agitation on July 9 at Munnar and want the government to distribute one acre of land to each family of the estate workers at Munnar. The government should reclaim 80,000 acres of its land held by the Tata group and distribute it to the estate workers at Munnar. We will continue our protest until the government meets our demand,â€ś Gomathi said, The Times of India reports.
Pembilai Orumai leaders, Gomathy, J Rajeswary and Kausalya had started the protest on April 23 after MM Maniâ€™s alleged derogatory remarks against the group.
Though the members started an indefinite hunger strike, they had to call it off within five days as their health condition deteriorated.
Orumai leaders have alleged that the minister passed lewd remarks on their group during a speech at Kunchithanny in Munnar. However, Mani remained persistent and refused to apologise.