After the conclusion of the oath-taking ceremony held at Rajbhawan for the restoration of former transport minister Ramanand Singh to his post, CM Nitish Kumar, when asked about the ongoing indefinite stir, evaded a direct reply, saying that Modi was in the saddle to handle it. "Modiji kahenge us par (Modiji will make a statement on that)," Nitish said, and turned to come out of Rajbhawan.
Modi, however, chose not to get drawn into it. The implied meaning was that the government had already explained its position on the demand of the striking employees and staff with regard to implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations for them. The government, having explained the financial stakes involved, has resorted to punitive measures to bring the strikers in line.
To add to that, Modi had earlier said that strike had been going on under the influence of the Left-inspired trade unions. The Left Front government in West Bengal had constituted a committee to look into the demands of the employees for the implementation of the Centre's pay package and removal of anomalies for its staff and employees. The Bihar government has also taken the same route, Modi has been reiterating.
Meanwhile, the striking employees, present in large number in front of the Vikas Bhawan (New Secretariat), held protest demonstrations and rallies, and also burnt effigies of the Nitish Kumar government. Their leaders, including Rambali Prasad, Anil Kumar Singh and Manjul Kumar Das, appealed to the government to abandon "rajhath (state power's obstinacy)" and not resort to repressive measures.
Significantly, Uttarakhand (Parvatiya) Karmachari Shikshak Sangathan has given its fraternal support to the ongoing strike here. Its general secretary Navendu Mathpal appealed to the government to take immediate measures for the amicable solution to the demands of the strikers. Besides, Employees' & Officers' Association of Patna High Court also extended "moral support" to them and their cause.