Raje govt faces employees' strikes

The state electricity department staff staged half-naked protest over various issues

Buses parked at the Sindhi Camp Bus Depot, after Rajasthan Roadways employees went on a day-long strike to press for their demands, in Jaipur. PTI

With the elections just two months away, the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan is facing scores of protests from disgruntled employees at various departments — education, roadways, electricity and Panchayati Raj.

The state electricity department staff staged half-naked protest over the suspension of fellow colleagues, pay-related discrepancies, cashless mediclaim policy and other employee welfare schemes. Employees also threatened to go on hunger strike if their demands were not met.

More than 4,000 buses remained off the roads as the strike led by employees of Rajasthan roadways entered the third day. Lakhs of passengers were affected as nearly 10 lakh people use the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) buses every day. The bus strike has also caused big revenue loss for the RSRTC.

Education sector too witnessed protests as about 50,000 teachers protested at the Ramlila Maidan here against the norms of the central government’s new pension scheme, which says the government will invest a portion of the salary of the employees in share market through various agencies.

Rural development work in the state has also come to a standstill as about 200 block development officers (BDOs) of the Rajasthan Rural Development Officers (RRDOs) continued to stay on mass leave along with other officers for the past one week. Their demands include proper promotion channel for RRDOs and dedicated cadre and better service conditions.

Even after a warning from Minister for Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Rajendra Rathore on Tuesday, the officers continued with their strike.

Reacting to the series of strikes in the state, the Opposition Congress called it as an inefficiency of the BJP-led government in Rajasthan. “She (Raje) has been neglecting issues of employees in various departments and instead of resolving the matter she is busy in using government funds for the use of her party,” former chief minister and Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot said.

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Raje govt faces employees' strikes

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