After Republic TV broke the story that Congress trade union chairman G Sanjeeva Reddy asked and encouraged in a letter to Rahul Gandhi to support the trade union strike saying that the party's support will benefit it politically in the Lok Sabha elections, the INTUC Chairperson in a big admission reiterated that Congress's support to the strike will give the party political advantage.
Speaking to Republic TV, he said, that "If the Congress supports the protesters, they will they will get political advantage," adding, "What is wrong in that?"
Here is his full statement:
"This is a mass movement by working class It is not going to be solved by present government They are creating more problem for the working class so this the time Congress will support the movement so it is going to be political advantage for the party.
You are misunderstanding what we are saying, the Congress should openly support the struggle and the demand of workers. Their support and participation in agitation will give an advantage to Congress party.
The workers are going to vote for the Congress as they are unhappy with the present government.
The point is workers are struggling for their existence, they have their demands, if any party supports them they will gain political advantage because working class will vote for them, if Congress supports them, then they will get political advantage. What is wrong in that?"
Hours into the two-day nationwide strike on Tuesday called by the Central Trade Unions (CTU) to protest against government policies, Republic TV has accessed a letter exchange involving Congress President Rahul Gandhi and a Congress trade union in which clear references have been made to the party taking political advantage of the bandh ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
The first letter was written by Rahul Gandhi in December to Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) chairman Mr Sanjeeva Reddy encouraging him to carry out a strike, citing job losses, agrarian distress and the 'tragic consequences' of demonetisation and GST's rollout, which the Congress president has grouped together as the 'anti-people policies of the government'.
In his response dated December 27, the INTUC chairman confirms to the Congress president that the strike he had asked for would take place on January 8 and 9, and proceeds to ask for Congress support for the strike saying the party's expression of solidarity will help it in the Lok Sabha elections.
"This strike will be very successful so the Congress Party may take advantage by expressing solidarity so that the entire working class of this country will repose faith and hope in the Congress Party and Congress President which will help us in the ensuing Lok Sabha election."