The transport strike in the state entered its seventh day on Wednesday.
Reminiscent of times when AIADMK MLAs thumped desks whenever Jayalalithaa was hailed in Tamil Nadu assembly, the session's start this year saw treasury benches cheer vociferously each time Governor Banwarilal Purohit named Chief Minister K Palaniswami's name in his maiden address. The Tamil Nadu Payment of Salaries (Amendment) Act, 1951, once passed, will come into effect retrospectively from July 2017. The issue triggered uproarious scenes in the Assembly this week with Palaniswami seeking the cooperation of Leader of Opposition MK Stalin (DMK) and others in bringing the strike to an end.
The session would also witness sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran making his debut in the Assembly after having won the December 21 Radhakrishnan Nagar bypoll by a thumping margin of 40,000 votes against E Madhusudhanan of AIADMK.
Legislators in Tamil Nadu have moved a proposal to hike their salaries by almost 100% amid a crippling strike by thousands of transport workers seeking better wages, in a move condemned by the opposition and trade unions. "For the past two days, the family members of the striking workers are on the street but the government is not doing anything about it", Stalin said.More news: The Shape of Water leads race for British Academy Awards
The union also urged the Madras High Court to direct the state government to hold talks with them.
As many as 17 trade unions launched the indefinite strike from January 4, with scores of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) staff joining the protest.
"Despite severe cash crunch, we are ready to dispense salary increase of 2.44%". I kindly request the workers to immediately resume work. Trade unions, however, have refused to comply with the court.