Wednesday, Feb 27, 2002
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PATHANAMTHITTA, FEB. 26. The NGO Association State president, Mangad Rajendran, has said that the KPCC president, K. Muraleedharan's call for an unconditional withdrawal of the strike was not acceptable to the NGO Association.
Addressing a press conference here today, Mr. Rajendran said the NGO Association had no links with the Congress party, except that it supported certain policies of the party. He alleged that the Congress was found to have been deviating from its earlier policy towards the government employees. He would continue to criticise the ``undemocratic'' functioning of the Antony Government.
Mr. Rajendran clarified that he was neither a member of the Congress nor his organisation had sought any Congress patronage.
He said that both the UDF convener, Oommen Chandy, and the Chief Minister, A.K. Antony, were equally responsible for the 21-day-old staff strike that had paralysed the State administrative machinery. Mr. Antony had said that only the UDF could take a decision on the reinstatement of benefits of the striking staff as the Government had only acted upon the resolve of the former. Mr. Chandy miserably failed to take up the issue at the UDF meeting. He also did not take a sincere initiative to end the strike, the NGO Association leader alleged.
Mr. Rajendran alleged that Mr. Antony as the head of the Government had miserably failed in controlling the excesses of his Cabinet colleagues belonging to the other UDF constituents. He said that Mr. Antony had proved himself a big flop in ensuring a just governance of the State with his undemocratic decisions like curtailing the existing benefits of the government employees.
According to Mr. Rajendran, the senior Congress leader, K. Karunakaran, had always been considerate to the government servants and teachers. Though Mr. Karunakaran had expressed his willingness to take the initiative to end the strike, the Chief Minister took least interest. Instead, he put up the pre-condition that the employees should first stop the strike, Mr Rajendran alleged.
However, Mr. Rajendran said Mr. Karunakaran need not publish his formula for resolving the crisis until the Chief Minister requested for the same.
Reacting to the Culture Minister, G. Karthikeyan's criticism of the strike, Mr. Rajendran alleged that the former had no moral right to issue such statements. The NGO Association did not need Mr. Karthikeyan's `conduct certificate' for its recognition from the public.
Mr. Rajendran said the striking employees were ready to forgo certain benefits, but the Government should take the lead to resolve the crisis.
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