Hundreds of Makkal Nala Paniyalargal (Staff for People's Welfare) gathered here to show their strength during the third State-level conference of Tamil Nadu Makkal Nala Paniyalargal Sangam held here on Thursday.

Women, outnumbering men, were found jostling for space in a packed marriage hall. State president N.Chellapandian and general secretary V. Puthiyavan were present at the meet that witnessed participation of workers from across the State.

The speakers spoke on how they were dismissed and reinstated since 1989 when Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) first appointed them. When All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government came to power, it disbanded the post on November 8.

However, the Madras High Court directed the authorities to reinstate the members of two associations and extend benefits to them.

Resolutions

The conference expressed condolences to the 11 workers who, according to the speakers, died of poverty after they were dismissed by the State government. The conference demanded that the State government, considering the means of livelihood, should reinstate the 13,300 Makkal Nala Paniyalargal (MNP) as per the High Court order, on Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's birthday.

A resolution was passed to burn the Government Order No.86 which was passed to abolish the post of MNP and ousting them from service at all the district headquarters. The conference also resolved to stage a protest on March 22 highlighting the plight of MNPs as they were reeling under poverty. The protestors would carry a bowl and beg.

During the Assembly session, the forum would stage demonstrations at district headquarters, and during the budget session a rally would be taken to the Secretariat and further plan of action would be decided in consultation with Tamil Nadu Government Employees' Association (TNGEA), the resolution said. P. Krishnasamy, State vice-president, and A. Selvam, State secretary, TNGEA, spoke at the conference.

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