Nagapattinam: The BJP on Saturday slammed the Centre`s decision to discontinue the 160-year-old telegram service from July 15 saying it was the first step at weakening the postal department and demanded that it be restored.
"Private courier agencies and top brass in the government machinery are trying to weaken the postal service. This is the first step towards that goal," BJP National Executive Council member K Rajendran said at nearby Mayiladuthurai.
Stating that telegram service had been a unifying force in the country and should not be discontinued, he pointed out that it still commands legal standing and is regarded as valid proof in government communications and court matters.
"Also a large majority of the poor who do not enjoy the benefits of mobile communication rely on telegrams to pass on important information," he said.
Rajendran demanded that the Centre immediately withdraw the order and take steps to strengthen postal and telegraph services in the country.
State-run telecom firm BSNL has decided to discontinue the service following the huge gap between average annual revenue of around Rs 75 lakh it generated as compared to over Rs 100 crore it had to bear to run and manage it.