As the indefinite strike of state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) TSRTC employees entered the 18th day, they adopted a novel way to protest on Tuesday by presenting flowers to the temporary employees.

With the ‘Gandhigiri’, striking employees’ adopted this novel method to request temporary employee not to operate the buses. The protestors were seen meeting temporary drivers and conductors and presenting them roses with a request to cooperate with them by not attending the duties.

The temporary employees were told that the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the striking employees is also fighting for filling up the vacancies in the transport utility and, hence they will also gain from the ongoing strike.

The statewide bandh called by the striking employees of TSRTC pressing various demands, including a merger of the corporation with the Telangana government was held on Saturday with the opposition parties actively supporting it.

Terming it as an “unpardonable crime”, the Telangana government on October 6 dismissed 48,000-odd employees of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) from service after they launched an indefinite strike demanding solution to their long-pending problems.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao also ruled out taking back those who did not join duties before the deadline set by the government.

The Chief Minister has rejected all the demands of the striking employees including the main demand for merger of TSRTC with the government. He also ruled out talks with them.

Terming the strike as illegal, the Telangana government had set the deadline of 6 pm on October 5 for the striking workers to return to their duties.

A state wide bandh was observed on October 19, a day after the Telangana

High Court had directed the state transport corporation and employees’ unions to hold talks and settle all disputes before October 28.

The High Court is scheduled to resume hearing on Public Interest Litigations (PILs) on October 28 when the government is expected to brief the division bench on the steps taken to resolve the issue.

The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) strike has taken a serious turn with two deaths and three attempted suicides.

The employees were depressed over losing jobs as Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao refused to take back 48,000 employees into TSRTC as they had not joined the duty before the expiry of the government deadline.

A High Court judge is also separately hearing a petition filed by the National Mazdoor Union (NMU), seeking direction to the TSRTC to pay the salaries for September. The TSRTC conveyed to the court on Monday that it is not in a position to pay salaries to the employees.

TSRTC in charge Managing Director Sunil Sharma informed the court that TSRTC requires Rs.239 crore to pay the salaries, but it has only Rs 7.49 crore in its account.

He also stated that the strike by the employees during festival season so far caused a loss of Rs 125 crore to TSRTC, which has accumulated losses of Rs 5,269 crore.

The Governor had last week called Transport Minister P Ajay Kumar to know about the steps being taken by the government to ensure that people are not inconvenienced. He had deputed Sunil Sharma to Raj Bhavan, who briefed the Governor on the alternate measures taken by TSRTC.

(With agency inputs)