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December 6, 2022
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7000+ Vote Bank of TSRTC Employees and Their Families to Play Decider in Munugode By-poll. Will CM KCR Finally Come Down to Meet Their Long Pending demands?

TSRTC Employees Munugode Bypoll
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Munugode By-poll: TSRTC (Telangana Road Transport Corporation) Employees have made this unique by-poll situation in Munugode as a platform to launch a strategic campaign of their own, they hope to make the KCR’s TRS Government meet the previously made promises and grant the pending rightful pay revisions of 2017 and 2021.

TSRTC Employees Demands – Mungode Bypoll 2022 

  • Grant the two pay revisions pending that should have happened on 1-4-2017 and 1-4-2021
  • Grant 5 pending DAs from 2020
  • Release the funds for the pending arrears bond (2013) with promised 8.75% interest
  • Reinstate the Employee Unions in TSRTC that were banned in 2019
  • Compensate for the extra work hours and added stress from the management to meet the targets in pursuit of making TSRTC profitable.
  • Revisit the pending promises made during the Sakala Janula Samme for TSRTC Employees who were critical in making the movement a huge success.

Netaji Subash Chandra Bose once inspired the Indian National Army soldiers with the slogan, “Give me your blood I will give you freedom.” Amit Shah, speaking to his cadet in Hyderabad assured the state leaders of the BJP with the statement, “Give me Munugode I will give you the rest of the constituencies”.

While the former was in the context of the Indian freedom struggle, Amit Shah’s recent statement is to inspire the Telangana state BJP leaders to go all in for the upcoming by-poll in the Munugode constituency of Telangana.

As things stand today, every house in Munugode has become a war room, the top leaders and elected legislators from all political parties in the state have made a camp in the constituency, house rents have surged by more than 3000% with some double bedroom house owners demanding as much as 1 lakh rupees per month, there is a shortage of country chicken and meat, supply vehicles are busy back-and-forth from Hyderabad and Suryapet catering to the needs of people coming in waves from all parties.

It is a game of ‘whose is bigger and who got how much’ in Munugode, with cash and liquor flowing unchecked and each vote decided to be worthy of Thulam Bangaram (10 grams of gold). To add a twist to the already engaging drama, KCR’s announcement of his national party BRS is turning heads from the national canvas to Munugode. Whatever might be the result on November 6th, there is one group that stands apart from the rest of the election mayhem. TSRTC (Telangana Road Transport Corporation) Employees have made this unique bypoll situation as a platform to launch a strategic campaign of their own, they hope to make the KCR’s TRS Government meet the previously made promises and grant the pending rightful-pay-revisions of 2017 and 2021 by leveraging the high stakes Munugode by-poll election.

How TSRTC Employees are leveraging Munugode Bypoll for melting the stone heart of KCR’s government towards RTC employees owes? 

Over 55 days of strike and 38 lives sacrificed couldn’t move the chief minister of Telangana to come to reasonable terms with the TSRTC employees. Instead of reconciling with 47000+ employees of TSRTC, KCR in 2019 chose to make a point that his ego is bigger and that he is not going to bow to employees who go on strike, even if it is for a rightful cause and for their hard-earned money. To add salt to the wound, he went out of his way to ban the Employee Unions in TSRTC.

Three years later, in an unexpected turn of events, K. Rajagopal Reddy of the Congress Party from the Mungode constituency resigned from his position as MLA and joined Bharatiya Janatha Party, paving way for many interesting dynamics in Telangana politics. If it wasn’t for this act by K. Rajagopala Reddy, TSRTC employees wouldn’t even get to see the inner walls of Pragathi Bhavan. Recently, considering the king-maker position of the TSRTC employee vote bank in the Munugode constituency, Ministers KTR and Harish Rao invited the TSRTC employees to Pragathi Bhavan to listen to the employees. As happened many times in the past, the Ministers assured the employees that their petitions will be delivered to Chief Minister KCR and promised to deliver on some of the key issues raised by the employees.

“Telangana’s budget in 2022 is close to 2 Lakh Crores, our Chief Minister KCR Garu is more than generous for some sections of the state employees and went beyond the norm to grant many perks that none of them asked for, however, when it comes to TSRTC employees CM KCR Garu has a stone heart. A minuscule of any of his schemes would solve our issues. But he chooses to play deaf towards our issues, if CM Garu does this to us who will take care of our families? We are 47000+ employees with more than 1.5 lakhs dependents. For many of us, we are sole income generators in family and things have become dire, particularly after COVID-19.”  – Anonymous TSRTC Employee

2000+ vote bank for TSRTC employees in Munugode Constituency, this number goes to 7000+ voters if we consider the primary kin/ families of the employees. 

Unlike before, employees are better organized this time. As per the sources among the employees, TSRTC Munugode Employees Association is refusing funds from all the major parties in the state to organize meetings to build a mass consensus. Speaking to the NewsOrbit, One employee said that he had personally donated Rs 2000 to the cause, and many such employees donated funds to organize meetings and provide food and shelter.

Why TSRTC Employees Vote Bank is key for TRS in Munugode Bypoll? 

Under similar circumstances in Huzurabad when Eatala Rajender won the seat for BJP, more than 10,000 votes were split by independent candidates leaving TRS with just 8000 votes.

In Munugode Bypoll, TSRTC Employees have filed nominations with the intention to take part in elections as a statement to the TRS government. They are fully aware of the fact that no other political party can fulfill their demands except for the one ruling, i.e, TRS. It was the right move from the employees, supporting any other party would only create more friction with the CM KCR. So instead they chose to file independent nominations.

In the 2018 Munudoe elections, the present BJP candidate K. Rajagopal Reddy won over his primary opponent K. Prabakhar Reddy with total votes of 99,239 with the latter gathering 61,687 votes. Then BJP candidate Gangidi Manohar Reddy had accrued 12,725 votes. In 2022 Munugode Bypoll things have changed drastically. Many independent BC candidates have filed nominations with a promise to split votes in big numbers, active campaigning, and involvement of BSP and TJS promise to split votes further from TRS and Congress.

Under these circumstances, 7000+ votes of TSRTC employees and families can be the decider and swing the momentum towards anyone they choose to vote. In such a closely fought contest TRS(BRS) can no longer choose to ignore the force that is TSRTC employee votes in the region. The reason why ministers KTR and Harish Rao had conveyed the meeting with the employees with such urgency. However, no concrete assurances were made about employees’ pending pay revisions, DAs, and other key issues.

 

About the author:
Deepak Rajula
MA Mass Communication (Print Journalism and New Media)
University of Hyderabad, Telangana

Please contact [email protected] for details.

 


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