New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) It looks like Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren is not the only one who is opposed to the Centre opening up the coal sector for private players. A key RSS affiliate, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), too has now joined the joint call for a three-day strike in all coal mines across India starting Thursday.
What’s interesting is that the strike will see participation from all political hues — the Congress, the Left as well as the RSS-backed BMS.
“This is a democratic mean available to us to voice our grievances. That is why we are joining the strike call starting tomorrow. In a democracy, this is our right,” said Virjesh Upadhyay, all-India General Secretary of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh.
The decision to go ahead with the strike was taken on Wednesday after talks with the Centre failed. The BMS also took part in the virtual meeting with Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi.
With ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ being Prime minister Narendra Modi’s pet idea, it seems the role of private players in the coal sector has become crucial to meet the expected high demand.
More than 2.5 lakh coal workers are expected to be off duty for the next three days.
But what if the government refuses to change its stand? Upadhyay said, “We will think of bigger strikes. This is not the end of the road.”
Asked if the intention is to send a powerful message to the BJP-led Centre, the BMS General Secretary replied, “Of course.”
The government recently ended the monopoly over coal and opened up the mining sector for private players. The move is also targeted at reducing the dependability on imported coals.