The former Labour Minister S.K. Kanta on Saturday held an hourlong closed door meeting with the pourakarmikas, who have been demanding the release of their pending wages, on the outcome of his meeting with Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and his Ministerial colleagues in Bangalore on Friday.

Speaking to The Hindu after the meeting, Mr. Kanta said that he explained the offer made by the Chief Minister to the pourakarmikas. “Although the pourakarmikas have full faith in me, I do not want to take any unilateral decision. I have given them the freedom to accept the offer or reject it.”

Mr. Kanta said that the meeting with the Chief Minister ended in a deadlock with the State Government sticking to its offer of asking the pourakarmikas to form self-help groups (SHGs) and work for the corporation and get the wages from the corporation through the SHGs. The Government also promised that all the pourakarmikas on the rolls would be provided employment till the age of 60.

Besides, Mr. Kanta said that the Chief Minister reiterated his offer of sanctioning houses under the Ashraya scheme, Dr. Ambedkar scheme and Indira Awas Yojana to the pourakarmikas and other benefits from the city corporation such as education grants and loans for the children of the pourakarmikas.

Mr. Kanta said that a final decision would be taken on Sunday. He said that during the meeting with the Chief Minister he explained the facts to the latter and said that as per the law the pourakarmikas could not be asked to work under the SHGs. The city corporation as the principal employer should employ them either directly, through contract, under “badli” system or casual system, he said.

He also thanked the swamis of different Veerashaiva maths for their support. He said that he had requested the swamis who had been on an indefinite fast for the past three days to end it in view of Basava Jayanti on Sunday.Mr. Kanta said that Home Minister V.S. Acharya had agreed to withdraw the cases filed against the residents of Tarfail slum in connection with the March 29 incident. He said a proposal to drop the cases would be placed at Cabinet meeting.

Meanwhile, the police shifted seven persons, including four pourakarmikas who have been on an indefinite fast for the past six days, Janata Dal (S) leader Raju Kulageri, Raju S. Kanta,and P.S. Patil to the government hospital.

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