Jobless for a year,they say will hit back with NOTA

Former employees of Samtel Glass Ltd and Samtel Colour Ltd threatened to use NOTA.

Written by Sweta Dutta | Jaipur | Published: October 16, 2013 5:59 am

The right to reject political parties,which has been offered to voters this elections,may become a potent weapon for voters in Kota,Rajasthan. More than 1,800 jobless former employees of Samtel Glass Limited and Samtel Colour Limited in Kota have threatened to use the None of The Above (NOTA) option this elections if the government does not intervene and ensure compensation for them.

The two firms downed their shutters in November last year after chairman and managing director Satish K Koara declared that the company was insolvent. The employees,who did not have a registered trade union,filed an FIR on December 17 in Kota against the owners of the two firms under sections 420,406 and 120 B of the IPC.

Police investigation was started and the accused were arrested,but managed to get bail from the High Court. The employees,who have been waging a battle for compensation,claim no party has come to their rescue.

“We have approached every possible official,politician and party but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. We have been sitting jobless for nearly a year and are going through the worst financial crisis. Our families are suffering but the state government has not done anything. We have decided to use the NOTA option,which will surely cost the Congress government heavily,” said Malin Sharma,president of the Samtel Glass Limited Workers’ Samiti.

Sharma said 1,800 employees,along with their families,will make for at least 10,000 votes. “Our immediate families,relatives,friends and acquaintances are all affected by our condition and have promised to support us by not voting for any party or candidate. If the government or the opposition cannot do anything for us,why should we elect them to power,” Sharma said.

Over the past one year,the workers have held demonstrations outside the offices of the district collector. Some have even threatened to commit suicide,but failed to get the attention of the officials. They said they even met Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot thrice.

Collector Joga Ram said,“While informal discussions are going on between the workers and the firms’ owners,we are also trying to facilitate meetings with the labour commissioner. While the government is trying to safeguard the workers’ interest,we have to work according to the existing laws. A case regarding the workers’ insurance is pending in the judicial court.”

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