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Bathinda

Posted at: Jan 13, 2018, 12:40 AM; last updated: Jan 13, 2018, 12:40 AM (IST)

Cops prevent thermal staff from meeting Manpreet

Cops prevent thermal staff from meeting Manpreet
Police personnel keep a watch on employees of the GNDTP who were waiting to protest against Finance Minister Manpreet Badal in Bathinda on Friday. Photo: Vijay Kumar

Nikhila Pant Dhawan

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 12

The Police Department today foiled the attempt of contractual employees of the Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant to meet Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal. The minister was scheduled to attend a function at a school in the city.

The contractual employees, who have been sitting on protest outside the District Administrative Complex for 12 days now, began a protest march from the protest venue to SSD Senior Secondary School after they received information that the minister would be in the city today.

Sensing trouble, police personnel stopped the protesters outside the bus stand and after persuasion the protesters marched back to the complex.

Raising slogans against the state government for shutting down the thermal plant and rendering them unemployed, union leader Rajinder Singh Dhillon said, “Before the Assembly elections, Congress leaders had promised us that the thermal would not be shut down.”

“Turning us against the SAD-BJP government, the Congress leaders are now walking the same path. Fearing trouble, they are not even ready to meet us or even hold a meeting to discuss the details of the decision taken by the state government,” Dhillon added.

The protesters also accused the Finance Minister of “backstabbing” the people of Bathinda by supporting the state government in its decision of closing down the thermal plant.

Regular employees hold black flags

Regular employees of the thermal plant also assembled outside the SSD Senior Secondary School to protest against the minister on his arrival.

Holding black flags in their hands, they raised slogans against the state government and demanded a rollback of the decision.

While the protesters waited for the minister at the main gate of the school at Gol Diggi, the minister was ushered in through another gate to avoid the protesters.

Gursewak Singh, leader of the union, said since the minister himself was aware of the wrong decision of the government, he was trying to avoid direct conversation with the thermal employees.

“The reasons cited by the government are based on erroneous calculations and are mere eyewash for the public. If their claim holds ground, they must hold a meeting with us,” Singh said.

Protest march

The contractual employees, who have been sitting on protest outside the District Administrative Complex for 12 days now, began a protest march from the protest venue to SSD Senior Secondary School after they received information that the minister would be in the city. 

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