Hyderabad

One campaign, two elections in Singareni coal belt

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Trade unions woo coal miners with promises for trade union, municipal polls

With elections for the recognised trade unions of Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) round the corner, union leaders have also plunged into electioneering for the municipal polls scheduled to be held on January 22 in the Municipal Corporation of Ramagundam (MCR).

As a majority of voters under the MCR are Singareni miners, contesting parties have roped in their trade unions for electioneering to lure the coal workers.

TRS versus BJP fight

It may be recalled that in the Ramagundam Assembly segment, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had received a severe blow in the Assembly elections in December 2018. TRS candidate Somarapu Satyanarayana lost to party rebel candidate Korukanti Chander, who contested on a All-India Forward Bloc ticket.

However, Mr. Chander joined the TRS, while Mr. Satyanarayana shifted his loyalty to the BJP.

Now, the TRS had roped in its trade union Telangana Boggu Ghani Karmika Sangham (TBGKS) to campaign for the candidates in the municipal elections. Accordingly, the TBGKS leaders are touring the coal belt region and conducting meetings to lure coal workers at the mines and also in their colonies to attract their family members.

The TBGKS leaders have been promising the miners revival of the Dependent Employment Scheme under the Medical Invalidation Scheme, free power, ₹ 10 lakh-interest-free loan and ₹ 1 lakh bonus to miners, etc.

Highlighting failures

On the other hand, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) affiliated to the BJP had also intensified its electioneering in the coal belt region “exposing” the failures of the TRS government in the Singareni collieries.

BMS State president Kengerla Mallaiah is spearheading the campaign in support of BJP candidates in the MCR polls. Mr. Mallaiah was formerly associated with TBGKS.

He, however, joined the BMS recently after allegedly being neglected in his former party.

BMS leaders have alleged that the State government had failed to revive the Dependent Employment Scheme, and there was a lot of corruption in the Medical Invalidation Scheme.

They also said that the government had not regularised the promised proxy coal miners.

Flaying the government for not opening underground mines to create employment, BMS leaders charged that Ramagundam region is being polluted with open cast projects.

Non-supply of air conditioners to every coal miner, non-construction of new quarters, non-opening of auxiliary industries in the coal belt to provide employment to local youth, drinking water woes in spite of flowing of river Godavari along the coal belt etc would dominate the campaign.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:04:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/one-campaign-two-elections-in-singareni-coal-belt/article30546384.ece

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