Hitting back at the controversial BJP leader Anant Kumar Hegde who called state owned BSNL employees “traitors”, the BSNL employees union said the BJP leader actually exposed his ignorance about the BSNL and its patriotic initiatives.
Deploring Hegde’s statement, All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) said, “Whenever, natural calamities like cyclone, floods, etc., struck the nation, it was BSNL which provided service for relief and rescue operations, while the private telecom companies used to shutdown their services”.
“Branding the BSNL employees as traitors, only exposes his ignorance about BSNL and its employees,” said AUAB, underscoring apathy on part of the government.
Known for courting controversies and issuing statements targeting Muslims, Hegde said in a meeting in Kumta on Monday that “employees in BSNL are traitors who are not willing to work”. He also said the company, which has 88,000 employees, will be privatised (by the Modi government).
Though the plan for the revival of the BSNL was chalked out quite some time ago, it still remains on the paper, P Abhimanyu, convenor of the AUAB, also asserted.
“It is true that on 23rd October, 2019, the Government of India announced a Revival Package for BSNL and MTNL. However, except retrenching 79,000 employees under VRS, all other assurances given for the revival of BSNL still remain on paper,” he said..
“On paper, the government has allotted 4G spectrum to BSNL. Based on this, BSNL floated a tender in March, 2020, to procure equipments to roll out its 4G service, at the cost of Rs.9,000 crore. However, soon thereafter, the government directed BSNL to cancel this tender, based on a flimsy complaint raised by an inconsequential organization called TEPC. The cancellation of this tender, as per the decision of the government, has deprived BSNL of its 4G service,” said Abhimanyu.
Blaming the Modi government for destroying the BSNL-MTNL in order to benefit private players, Abhimanyu added, “Apart from the retrenchment of 79,000 employees under VRS, BSNL has not received a single paisa for the revival”.
Asking Hegde “to desist from issuing such atrocious and irresponsible statements in future” AUAB said it is highly misleading to say that BSNL employees are not willing to work.