Amid Transport Strike, Tamil Nadu MLA Drives Government Bus

More than 15,000 government buses stayed off roads on Friday as transport workers declared an indefinite strike seeking salary hike and pay parity with drivers in other departments.

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Amid Transport Strike, Tamil Nadu MLA Drives Government Bus

KR Rajakrishnan ferried a total of around 70 people from Andhiyur to Bhavani and back.


Chennai:  An MLA in Tamil Nadu's Erode district doubled up as a bus driver on Friday to help stranded commuters affected by the indefinite strike declared by transport workers demanding salary hike.

The MLA, KR Rajakrishnan, ferried a total of around 70 people from Andhiyur to Bhavani and back, covering a total distance of around 40 kilometers. 

The MLA says he offered to step in to help people make their journey and avoid inconvenience to them. "I did not want public in my constituency to suffer. When I went for an inspection I saw people waiting for a bus to go to Bhavani. I took the bus with due clearance by authorities. I thought it was my duty to work for the people," said Mr Rajakrishnan, who is a first-time MLA from Andhiyur.

The 49-year-old said he owned a lorry and hence had the experience of driving lorries.

The MLA's effort, however, has not gone down well with local union leaders representing transport workers. 

More than 15,000 government buses stayed off roads on Friday as transport workers declared an indefinite strike seeking salary hike and pay parity with drivers in other departments. 

By Saturday evening the state government claimed restoration of 66% buses. The transport minister has ruled out any further hike after announcing a 2.44 % hike against the demand for 2.57 % .

While the Madras High Court has directed striking workers to resume work, trade unions have announced that they would continue their protest till their demands are met.

Tamil Nadu Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskar has appealed to striking bus employees to return to work. "Employees in other department get pay hike only once in 10 years unlike revision every three years for transport workers," he said.

Leader of opposition MK Stalin and actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan have also appealed to Chief Minister EPS to hold talks with transport workers to end the stalemate. 

More than two crore people use the 22,500 government buses every day in Tamil Nadu.


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