16 lakh UP govt employees go on three-day strike

Lucknow: Rejecting an official offer to study their demands, over 16,00,000 employees of the Uttar Pradesh government began a three-day strike on Wednesday. The strike has been called by the State Employees Joint Council and Uttar Pradesh Secondary Teachers Federation and is supported by more than 250 employees and teachers organisations. The strike is likely to cripple working of major departments like education, horticulture, health, public works, social welfare, food and civil supplies. The main demands of the striking employees include cashless medical facility, House Rent Allowance at par with central government employees and declaring aanganwadi workers, cooks, MNREGA workers and computer operators as government employees. Work came to a halt at two major office hubs of the government - Jawahar Bhawan and Indira Bhawan, which house hundreds of offices here. A last ditch effort was made by Chief Secretary Deepak Singhal on Tuesday night to resolve the dispute but the employees decided to go ahead with the strike. Hari Kishore Tiwari, the strike leader, told IANS that the Akhilesh Yadav government had failed to stick to its promises on heeding their long-pending demands.