Lagadapati gives ‘written assurance' to take up their cause with State

Employees of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation suspended their agitation seeking payment of salaries through treasury here on Wednesday.

The VMC Employees' Joint Action Committee decided to suspend the agitation for three months following an assurance from MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, who held discussions with the employees for more than one hour. Vijayawada (Central) MLA Malladi Vishnu was present.

“The MP gave a written assurance that he will prevail upon the State government to resolve our demands,” said JAC leader Eswar.

The VMC has utilised Rs.175 crore pertaining to the employees. The MP assured that he would prevail upon the government to release a special grant to replenish the employees' funds.

With regard to prime demand of payment of salary through the treasury i.e., under 010 head of account, the MP said he required three months time.

Mr. Rajagopal said the matter would be discussed with the Chief Minister, the Finance Minister, and the Finance Secretary.

“The MP suggested to us to go ahead with the strike after three months if he fails to convince the Chief Mister with regard to 010 salaries,” Mr. Eswar said.

“We have decided to suspend the agitation temporarily as Mr. Rajagopal agreed to give his assurance in written,” he said, adding the employees would launch the agitation again if the MP failed to keep his promise.

It may be recalled that the corporation employees had been agitating since March 7. They organised demonstrations and sit-in protests for the first five days. Later, they launched relay hunger strike on March 12. The employees went on mass casual leave for two days on March 16 and April 2, and took out rallies demanding that the government address their problem.

A couple of days ago, Municipal Commissioner G. Ravi Babu held parleys with the employees.

He told them there were no financial constraints in paying salaries by the 5th of every month. The employees should shed misconceptions that the corporation was being pushed into a debt trap.

In reality, the finances of the corporation were very good. Their salaries would be credited into their account, irrespective of payment under 010 account head, he told the employees.

The issue, however, could not be resolved as the employees struck to their demand.

More In: Vijayawada