Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao never promised that he would take steps to merge the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) with the government, Transport Minister P Ajay Kumar said here on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the indefinite strike by unions of TSRTC continued for the eighth day.

Maintaining that the state government took all necessary steps to mitigate the inconvenience being caused by the strike, the Minister said the government has no intention of privatising the ailing corporation.

It is neither our government’s policy nor TRS’s poll promise. Our leader KCR (Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao) also never assured that the RTC would be merged with the government. I want to ask those opposition parties which are supporting the agitation of employees as to why you are not thinking about the inconvenience caused to the public, the Minister told a press conference.

Pointing out that the BJP and Congress parties, which have pledged their support to the stir, he said they have not merged the public transport corporations into the governments where those parties are in power.

Refuting the opposition parties claim that the KCR government was trying to privatise the RTC, Ajay Kumar said the Chief Minister always maintained that RTC should be in existence and employees would be given better packages than the government staff.

Different employees and workers unions of TSRTC began an indefinite strike from October 5 across Telangana on a call given by the JAC of TSRTC, demanding merger of the RTC with the government, recruitment to various posts, among others.

Rao had stated that the 48,000 RTC staff had dismissed themselves by not reporting for the duty before the deadline of October 5.

BJP Telangana President K Laxman said his party would directly undertake field-level agitations in support of the RTC employees.

He, along with leaders of the JAC of TSRTC, staged dharna in front of the Bus Bhavan, the headquarters of the corporation.

“We will not spare this TRS government until it comes down and holds discussions with the agitating employees. We will intensify by directly participating in the agitation. As many as 50,000 families are suffering without salaries, Laxman said before being detained by the police.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesperson Dasoju Sravan has alleged that the TRS government was trying to privatise RTC so as to acquire its assets of nearly Rs. 75,000 crore.

Reacting to the remarks, Ajay Kumar said the assets of the organisation was at Rs 4,416 crore in 2014.

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