The ongoing tiff between Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) Chairman B. Ashok and the CPI-M-backed KSEB Officers Association has taken several twists and turns and now all eyes are now on the latter’s Tuesday’s strike, which has been termed as illegal by the management.
The Association had called for a total siege of the KSEB headquarters on Tuesday by around 1,000 of their members and on Monday they were told by the management that if they resort to the protests, strict action would be taken, as rules do not permit such a protest.
The Association’s protests started early this month against the suspension of a woman engineer and according to the Chairman, the strike was needless and when the strike went forward, the President and the Secretary of the association was suspended.
After a few days, the suspension of the three were revoked but, the Association did not withdraw the strike as they were all transferred from their present place of work.
The Association continued their protests, but with Ashok a tough nut to crack, things have reached a point of no return and Association President M.G. Suresh Kumar appears to have rubbed Ashok the wrong way again, when he wrote an article in the CPI-M party organ and sources in the know of things reveal that he might be suspended again.
With tempers flared up, it remains to be seen what ensues after Tuesday’s protest as Ashok has made it clear that indiscipline will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
What has raised eyebrows is the stand taken by Power Minister K. Krishnankutty, who for some strange reason, has strongly backed Ashok and this has left the Association fuming as never before has such a situation occurred, when the powerful unions always having had their way.
Krishnankutty, who is a nominee of the Left ally Janata Dal-S, unlike previous Power Ministers who were all of the CPI-M, is Aarriving the capital city on Tuesday, but no conciliation talks are planned to end the impasse.