CHENNAI: A bill proposing a hike in the monthly salary and other allowances for MLAs was on Wednesday tabled in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. If the bill is passed in the house, it will come into effect from Thursday.
The bill was tabled by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in the House. There was uproar in the Assembly over the tabling of the bill with DMK and sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran opposing the hike.
"People will laugh at us for this hike when transport workers in the state are on strike demanding salary hike," DMK leader MK Stalin said on Wednesday.
The proposal for a time when transport workers in Tamil Nadu are on strike for the seventh day in a row seeking a hike in their salaries. The CM had said in the Assembly that the government was willing to increase wages by 2.44 times. "Salary has been hiked. It is not fair to ask that it should be further increased...I appeal to workers...They should return to work," he said.
But the workers are demanding a 2.57-time hike. With no middle path achieved, the workers have stepped up their protest. They staged a dharna with family members, including children, outside divisional offices of state-owned transport corporations across the state.
As many as 17 trade unions, including those affiliated to the DMK and the Left, are on an indefinite strike, having rejected the government's hike proposal.
As the issue triggered a war of words between the treasury and Opposition members on Tuesday, Palaniswami also sought the cooperation of Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin (DMK) and others in bringing the strike to an end.
"Our stand is that this (2.44-time hike) should be accepted... The Leader and deputy leader of the Opposition and members should help (in ending the strike)," he said.
The chief minister also rejected the Opposition charge that he had not held talks with the trade unions.