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Will intensify MSRTC stir if demands remain ignored: Ryat Kranti Party chief

The aggressive stance of the party comes on the day the MVA government hinted that it will go ahead with fresh recruitments to resume bus services.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
November 12, 2021 4:02:32 pm
Earlier, Sadabhau Khot had warned to take the protest to the streets. (Express Photo by Arul Horizon/File)

Ryat Kranti Party president Sadabhau Khot on Friday warned of intensifying the agitation staged by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) employees in the next 48 hours if the state government continued to ignore their demands.

“It does not require an atom bomb for enforcing a bandh (shut down) in Maharashtra. A stone picked up from a rural village is a powerful tool,” Khot said. The aggressive stance of the party, which is a BJP ally, comes on the day the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government hinted that it will go ahead with fresh recruitments to resume MSRTC bus services in Maharashtra.

MSRTC employees have been on an indefinite strike since October 28 seeking merger of the cash-strapped corporation with the state government. All 250 bus depots – which together run a fleet of 16,000 buses – have shut operations, leaving thousands of passengers helpless and forced to scout for alternative private vehicles. So far, MSRTC has suspended 918 employees for joining what it says is an “illegal strike”.

The state Transport Minister Anil Parab held several rounds of talks with union leaders, but without success. The state government then indicated that it would recruit 2,000 fresh candidates to resume the stalled services.

Earlier, Khot had warned to take the protest to the streets. “If the state government ignores the employees’ demand, we will be forced to intensify our agitation on the streets of Maharashtra,” he had said.

“Let them recruit 2,000 new workers to start bus services. We have one lakh employees on strike. Each employee’s family, on an average, has five members. This translates to a total strength of five lakh. Besides, there are organisations like Ryat Kranti who support these employees’ cause. If we protest on the roads, will the government be able to run a single bus service,” he asked.

“Confrontation won’t resolve the problem. Instead, the government should understand and accept the demands of employees,” Khot added.

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