City secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) R. Raghu on Tuesday urged members of the AP State Road Transport Corporation Staff and Workers' Federation (RTC SWF) to drum up public support for their stir against illegal operation of private vehicles on key routes.

Speaking at a round-table conference of the RTC SWF and representatives of various parties, Mr. Raghu pointed out that the private operators eating into a major chunk of the RTC revenue was an age-old problem. The workers should convert their battle into a people's movement to ensure its success.

Declaring his party's full support to the cause of the RTC workers' welfare, he said successive governments in the State had been neglecting the issue for several years. “In 2002, we had a hope that a change in the Government may prove to be beneficial to the RTC workers. But the Congress that took over the reins of power from the TDP was toeing the same line. “No Government directly admits privatisation of the RTC is in the offing. But the systematic way in which the public sector is being debilitated speaks volumes for the hidden agenda of the Government,” he maintained.

Mr. Raghu named the public transport, coal and electricity as the three sectors that were under constant threat of privatisation. Regional president of SWF N. A. Sastry, secretary G. P. Ramaswamy, and others were present.

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