Congress woos Govt. employees in Rajasthan

JAIPUR OCT. 22. In an obvious attempt to counter the effort of the Bharatiya Janata Party to win over the State employees, who are reportedly angry with the Congress Government, the PCC spokesman, Raghu Sharma, said promises being made by the BJP were only election stunts. He reminded the seven- lakh Government employees not to forget that the Congress-run Government never failed to pay them on the first of every month and grant them dearness allowance from time to time even when in many States salaries were not paid on time and DA was denied altogether.

"The BJP did precious nothing for employees during its eight-year long tenure in the State,'' Dr.Sharma asserted in a statement here.

The Congress concern is understandable as only this week-end one of the employees' unions-- the All Rajasthan State Employees Joint Confederation(United) --had invited the BJP State president, Vasundhara Raje Scindia, to their programme in which she was felicitated. On the occasion, Ms.Scindia promised the Government employees to "restore'' the facilities withdrawn during the Congress regime. The Congress Government, despite empty coffers inherited from the previous BJP Government and the consecutive years of drought, looked after its employees, Dr.Sharma claimed. Unlike the BJP which was out of power, the Congress party could not make empty promises to make electoral gains, he said.

Dr.Sharma also sought to explain to the employees that the DA they got was more than what was given to employees in most of the States.

"Rajasthan is among the few States in the country which gives 59 per cent DA, the same which Central Government employees get,'' Dr.Sharma asserted. The State Government, despite is financial constraints paid Rs.1100 crores as DA during the past five years, he pointed out.

Listing the employee-friendly steps taken by the Government, Dr.Sharma noted that even when a rule existed against appointing dependents of those who died while in service, the Government led by Ashok Gehlot had given jobs to 6000 such people, many of whose cases had been pending for over a decade. The Congress Government also took steps to regularize as many as 2 lakh temporary employees, besides carrying out promotions of 15,000 others whose cases were pending for the past 20 years. The Government did not retrench any employee but absorbed the staff even from the departments which were closed down during its period, he added.

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