TGBKS poised for a vertical split
The Telangana Boggu Ghani Karmika Sangham (TGBKS), the recognized trade union of Singareni Collieries and affiliated to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi, is poised for a vertical split as its founder president and current working president Kengarla Mallaiah is planning to join a national trade union.
Mr. Mallaiah, a Telangana protagonist, joined the TRS in 2002 and as part of the efforts to strengthen the party in Singareni coal belt region started the TGBKS on January 27, 2003. He worked hard for the steady growth of TGBKS in the coal belt region and was rewarded by twice being elected representative union and emerging as recognized trade union of Singareni in 2012 and 2017 elections.
Differences cropped up within the trade union which resulted in Mr. Mallaiah being sidelined from 2014. In 2016, INTUC trade union leader Venkat Rao joined the TGBKS and became its president and Mallaiah was made general secretary. However, the union sacked Mr. Mallaiah from the post and appointed Miryala Raji Reddy to the post. During the recognised trade union elections in 2017, the union again appointed Mr. Mallaiah as its working president with an eye on elections.
However, after the elections, the union again sidelined Mr. Mallaiah completely and he was not invited to any union meeting. The TGBKS leadership claimed that there was no role for working president in the union and hence they were not inviting him for the meetings and other programmes. Irked by the attitude of the union leaders, the supporters of Mr. Mallaiah and TGBKS leaders of Ramagundam region resigned en masse. This apart there is growing resentment among the coal miners over non-fulfilment of election promises like revival of dependent employment schemeand there were also allegations of corruption against the TGBKS leaders.
Cashing on the popularity of Mr. Mallaiah, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), affiliated to the BJP, is planning to rope him in ahead of the recognized trade union elections. The BMS leadership had even contacted Mr. Mallaiah and offered him a top post in the trade union.