Chennai: Jactto-Geo strike by govt staff echoes in Assembly

Chennai: The strike by the Joint Action Council of Tamil Nadu Teachers' Organisations and Government Employees' Organisation  (Jactto-Geo) members echoed in the Assembly on Monday resulting in the treasury and opposition DMK trading charges. Leader of the House O. Panneerselvam however brought the issue to an end by saying members who went on strike have already been punished. Moving a special call attention motion in the Assembly House on Monday during the first day of debate on the budget presented on Friday by Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, DMK member and former state minister Thangam Thennarasu claimed the government should have held talks with the employees and teachers and resolved the issue.

 Responding, fisheries minister D. Jayakumar said even after holding several rounds of talks, the Jactto-Geo members declined to accept the government's request. “Except West Bengal all other States have adopted the new pension sche-me,” he said and ruled out any scope for accepting the demands of Jactto-Geo. Mr Jayakumar said police booked 86 cases and arrested 6,527 persons. The government will examine the merit of the cases and take appropriate decision, he added.

 Flaying the DMK for calling the budget as “useless” AIADMK legislator and former state minister Semmalai sought to know if announcements for people's well-being could be construed as waste. “Would the opposition leader Stalin call the announcement on Athikadavu project or the pension scheme for the unorganised sector besides one lakh houses for cyclone Gaja displaced families, as waste.” He felt greatly anguished when Stalin described the successful Global Investors Meet which fetched Rs. 3,431 lakh crore of investment to Tamil Nadu, as a 'mirage' Mr. Semmalai said.

 “Merely because the budget was presented by the AIADMK, it should not be called useless,” Mr Semmalai said and sought the cooperation of the opposition parties for implementing the welfare programme for the people. When Mr. Semmalai remarked that the DMK should cease to be biased as the JACTTO-GEO members burned a copy of government order issued by the then DMK government, Thennarasu retorted saying the then DMK government did not resort to punitive measures against the government employees or teachers. At this, Mr. Panneerselvam intervened to say the issue need not be debated as Jayakumar had already presented a detailed report to the Assembly. “The striking members have already got the punishment they deserved (for going against the government)” he said bringing the debate to an end.

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