Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has blamed trade unions owing allegiance to opposition parties for spreading rumours that created tension at a few Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) bus depots and led to flash strike by a section of drivers and conductors on Monday morning.

In a press release here on Tuesday, he said: “Due to this reason on Monday, MTC drivers and conductors of Anna Nagar, Avadi and Ambattur depots refused to operate the buses, intercepted drivers and conductors and forced them to stop the buses in a haphazard manner. Every day, MTC operates 3,151 buses.

On Monday, only 1,907 buses were operated and 713 did not ply. This is due to trade unions belonging to opposition parties.”

Mr. Karunanidhi said that trade unions belonging to opposition parties took advantage of a clash between two parties and caused innumerable problems to the commuters, which was highlighted in newspapers.

“This is how the opposition parties in the State are functioning. Instead of doing public work in an organised way, they try to politicise the issue and gain mileage out of it,” he said.

According to the release, trouble started when the bus driver refused to give way to a car on Sunday night. A. Senthil Suresh, son of Ambattur Municipal Councillor A. Anbu (DMK), got into an argument with the MTC crew after rashly overtaking the bus. Their argument snowballed into a confrontation. In the melee, six MTC crew members – Kumaravel, Kumar, Umapathi, Dinakaran, Papaiya and Subramaniam – sustained injuries and were taken to Kilpauk Government Hospital. They were discharged after proper treatment.

“However, some of those belonging to CITU took Kumaravel, Kumar and Dinakaran and got them admitted in Chennai General Hospital. They purportedly spread rumours that one of the injured died and this created panic,” the release said.

Police have booked Senthil Suresh, Stalin, Murugan and Udayakumar under several sections and lodged them in Puzhal. Also, action has been initiated against bus crew Umapathi, Papaiya and Subramaniam, who are members of Labour Progressive Front of DMK, the release said.

Keywords: MTC strike

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