Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to immediately hold a dialogue with its striking employees and try to work out a solution to the stir, which has entered its eighth day.
A division bench of Justices Sheo Kumar Singh and Pradeep Kumar Singh Baghel directed the state counsel to file a counter affidavit at the next hearing apprising the court of the steps the state government had taken to end the impasse.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Ajai Kumar Pandita against the striking employees.
The court also directed the state chief secretary to hold talks with the striking employees within the next 24 hours and take legal recourse if no positive result emerged from the parleys.
The petitioner also requested the court to direct the Akhilesh Yadav government to comply with the provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Government Servant Conduct Rules, 1956.
The PIL further requested the high court to also direct the state to ensure adherence to provisions of the Essential Commodities Maintenance Act, 1981, which provides for smooth and uninterrupted supply of essential commodities to the people.
The court has fixed November 22 as the next date of hearing. Over 16 lakh state employees struck work to press for their demands on November 12. From Monday, they have also begun stalling medical facilities in a phased manner.
While opposition parties have been calling for dialogue, the state government has so far cold shouldered demands of talks. Urban Development Minister Mohammad Azam Khan on Monday night told reporters in Aligarh the strike was a flop and the state government working was not at all affected by it.
Bharatiya Janata Party state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak slammed the state government and accused it of being dictatorial. "One section of the government says they are ready for talks and the employees say they too want to meet the chief minister, so where is the problem?" he asked.