Irked at the reported statement of Minister for Transport Botcha Satyanarayana that the mid-day meal scheme launched by the government was for the benefit of schoolchildren and not for organisers, the A.P. Mid-day Meal Workers' Union, affiliated to CITU, on Sunday chalked out a plan of action.
Union district general secretary B. Sudharani told a press conference that the ongoing relay fast at the Collector's office would continue till January 7. On the following day, there would be a solidarity meeting with other unions. If the district administration failed to concede their demand on scrapping the proposal to hand over the scheme to ISKCON, the union would launch indefinite hunger strike from January 20 after gathering support from people and elected representatives.
At a separate press conference on Saturday evening, CPI (M) district secretary M. Krishna Murty, while extending the party's support to the agitating mid-day meal workers, severely condemned the statement of Mr. Satyanarayana. He called upon party men to organise rasta roko throughout the district on January 5 in support of the agitating mid-day meal workers.
He asked the Minister to establish quality in the works allotted and already executed by private agencies.
He pointed out that 70 per cent of people who were operated in a private nursing home which was chosen under Arogya Sri here were now making frequent visits to KGH in Visakhapatnam.
Late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had inaugurated the Peddagedda Project three years ago which was executed by private contractors but water was not being released due to poor channel system.
Similar was the position with Jhanjhavathi, he said. But, the mid-day workers, despite delay in settlement of bills they have successfully been running the scheme by borrowing money from agencies and repaying the amount as and when the government released grants.
He felt that the scheme would become defunct once it was handed over to a private agency.
The Congress government was bent upon handing over schemes to private contractors only to receive ‘mamools' from them, he said. T. Suryanarayana, CITU general secretary, was also present at the press conference.