Thousands of Andhra employees gather in Vijayawada for protest
Vijayawada: Tension prevailed here on Thursday as thousands of employees and teachers from various parts of Andhra Pradesh, defying police ban, descended on the city for ‘Chalo Vijayawada’ to press their demands for a higher pay revision.
Despite police denying permission for the protest and the curbs imposed across the state, a large number of employees, teachers and pensioners managed to reach here after a call by ‘PRC Sadhana Samiti’, the joint action committee of all employees’ associations.
Raising slogans like “we want justice” and holding flags of their respective unions and banners, the protestors began a massive rally from AP NGO Bhavan towards BRTS Road. The rally brought traffic to a halt in the busy areas.
Claiming that ‘Chalo Vijayawada’ a huge success, the employees demanded that the state government take back the Government Order (GO) issued last month, fixing new pay scales as per 23 per cent pay revision. They also argued that since they were receiving 27 per cent interim relief the GO has led to downward revision in their salaries.
The employees demanded the government to make public the Pay Revision Commission (PRC) report.
“Our demands are just. We are demanding the government to give us our rights,” said an employee participating in the rally.
Criticising the ‘adamant’ attitude of the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government, another employee said: “We don’t want your reverse PRC. Pay us salaries as per the old pay scales.”
Leaders of the employees’ unions said the protest would continue till the government accepts all their demands. “The government stopped buses and trains but it could not stop us,” said one of the leaders, Bandi Srinivasa Rao.
The leaders said the employees would go ahead with the strike from February 7 as a result of which the entire administration will come to a standstill and the government would be responsible for the inconvenience caused to people.
Police had denied permission for ‘Cahlo Vijayawada’ protest programme in view of the Covid situation and detained leaders of unions of government employees and teachers in various districts.
The leaders were either placed under house arrest or summoned to police stations to serve notices, directing them to not leave for Vijayawada for the protest. They were told that action will be taken against them as per law, if they participate in the protest.
Vijayawada Police Commissioner Kanti Rana Tata had said that there was no permission for the protest as, according to the guidelines issued by the central and state governments any programme with a gathering of more than 200 should not be allowed and over 5,000 employees are likely to participate in ‘Chalo Vijayawada’ permission.