A trade union affiliated to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Telangana swept the polls in state-owned Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), defeating the alliance of opposition parties.
Telangana Boggu Gani Karmika Sangham (TBGKS) retained its hold in the largest public sector company in the state, winning nine out of 11 divisions in the elections held on Friday.
TBGKS polled 23,800 votes while All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) of Communist Party of India (CPI), which was backed by the Congress party and Telugu Desam Party (TDP), polled 19,300 votes. AITUC won two divisions.
It was a significant victory for TRS in the run-up to 2019 elections as the opposition parties had joined hands to take advantage of what they called growing public resentment over TRS' misrule. It was a battle of prestige for both sides as their top leaders campaigned in the bitterly fought elections.
Singareni mines are spread over six districts of Telangana. About 95% of total 52,534 coal workers cast their votes to elect the recognised union.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao described the result as historic. He said TBGKS polled 45% votes, the highest in Singareni's history. The TRS chief said no union in the past won nine divisions.
His son and cabinet minister KT Rama Rao tweeted that the "immoral" alliance of opposition parties sans any ideology couldn't stop TBGKS from sweeping Singareni.
Rama Rao congratulated his sister TRS MP K Kavitha, who led the party's campaign.
KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, said it was yet another victory for TRS, which won all the elections since 2014. He said the TRS won the election despite opposition parties coming together and making a false propaganda against the government.
The TRS president said despite defeat in every election, the opposition parties were not learning their lesson. Stating that the TRS government has taken several historic steps to make Telangana a golden state, he advised the opposition parties to at least now mend their ways and play a constructive role.
He said BJP leaders during the campaign claimed that their party is the alternative to TRS but the union affiliated to BJP got only 246 votes.
Describing Singareni as a greater company than Coal India, the Chief Minister said all the promises made to workers would be implemented.
He announced that the workers will be provided representation in the Singareni board and six new underground mines will be opened soon.
KCR said steps will be taken to ensure that Singareni diversifies into other sectors.
He made it clear that Singareni, the Road Transport Corporation and electricity department will not be privatised.