Millennium Post

Mamata vows to lend voice to jittery PSU employees

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced a series of programmes to extend solidarity to the Central government employees and be vocal against the Centre's decision of privatising a number of companies and disinvestment of a number of PSUs.

The protest movement involving the Central government employees in Bengal who are staring at an uncertain future owing to the Centre's decision, will start from September 26 and a mega rally will be organised on October 18 from Sealdah to Fairlie Place, where Banerjee herself will take part. Later in October, Trinamool Congress will also hold a 48 hour dharna movement in Delhi on the issue.

"The mega rally will start from Sealdah and will travel across Moulali, S N Banerjee Road and Esplanade and will end at Fairlie Place. I will urge the employees of BSNL, public sector banks, coal sector and others who have been suffering due to the Centre's policy, to prepare banners and posters for the rally," Banerjee said, addressing a meeting to protest against the Central government's decision.

She announced that there will be demonstration in front of Cossipore Gun and Shell factory on September 26 and in front of Coal India building on September 27. She appealed to the Central government employees to organise similar protests in other parts of the country as well, to protest against such decisions of the Centre. Protests in metros like Chennai and Mumbai are also on the party's radar.

It may be mentioned that a few months ago, the Centre had announced its decision of corporatising the Ordnance Factory Board, which has its headquarters in Kolkata. Banerjee had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 23, urging him to stall and reverse the process of corporatising ordnance factories, in the interest of national security and the country's defence.

The Centre has also decided on total disinvestment of Coal India, raising apprehensions of the power and energy sector being affected badly.

"We are forming a core group with senior leaders like Partha Chatterjee, Sudip Banerjee, Subrata Bakshi, Sougata Roy, Subrata Mukherjee, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay and Moloy Ghatak, who will keep in touch with the unions and hold meetings periodically to decide on future protest programmes," Banerjee said.

The Centre's decision of disinvestment of 43 PSUs across the country includes Burns Standard, Bengal Chemicals, Chittaranjan Locomotive Works and the alloy steel section of SAIL in Bengal.

"It was three years ago when our government did all the formalities and took over Dunlop and Jessop which were in dire straits. We have been paying an honorarium of Rs 10,000 to each of the employees of these two companies. The Centre has now refused to give its nod on the takeover, after sitting idle over our decision for nearly three years," Banerjee said.

The Trinamool supremo also expressed her concern over the Centre's decision of merger of nationalised banks and privatisation of Air India. "We used to be proud of Air India. It was making profit and had so much potential. But they are even conspiring to disinvest the national carrier," she maintained.

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