Hundreds of KPTCL and Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) employees staged a protest here on Monday condemning Srinivaspur MLA K.R. Ramesh Kumar’s “provocative” statement against them. Organised under the KPTCL Employees’ Union, the staff came in a procession to the Deputy Commissioner’s office, where they staged a sit-in protest.

They raised slogans against Mr. Kumar for asking farmers to tie Bescom officials to trees and keep them hungry for days. Mr. Kumar, who was also the former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, issued this “diktat” at a drought-review meeting held on the zilla panchayat premises last week. The protesting staff said Mr. Kumar’s statement had demoralised them and they have been working in fear.

In a memorandum submitted to the State government through the district administration, the protesters claimed that employees of Escoms are facing heavy workload due to large number of vacancies.