With the MSRTC employees continuing with their strike, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday said the agitators should take a sensible approach and report to work and not impel the government to take extreme steps against them.
Speaking to media persons here, Pawar said the people, especially the poor, are facing hardships due to the strike.
"This (state transport buses) is the vehicle of the poor. Still, the (protesting) employees are being adamant. This is not right. The employees are ours, so are the passengers. They (the protesters) should take a sensible position," Pawar said.
Transport Minister Anil Parab has consistently been holding dialogue with the agitators, but they are refusing to budge.
Pawar said that Parab has been "lenient" several times till now and added that the government's patience may end now.
"Nobody should test (the government's) patience. It is my earnest request to all the employees and workers. They should report to work and start working," the finance minister said.
The senior NCP leader also asked the protesters whether their job security will remain intact if they continue with the strike and a new recruitment drive is undertaken.
"Such a situation should not arise.I request the agitators to not impel the government to take extreme steps (against them)," Pawar said.
Since October 28, a majority of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) employees have been on strike which intensified from November 9. The employees are seeking merger of the cash-strapped corporation with the state government, hoping for better and on-time salaries and other benefits.
MSRTC is one of the biggest state-owned transport undertakings in the country with a fleet of more than 16,000 buses. It ferries over 65 lakh passengers daily in normal times.
Passengers, especially students and those in rural areas, are facing hardship due to the strike as they have to rely on private transporters who have hiked their fares.
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