Within hours of the Karnataka State Government Employees' Association (KSGEA) beginning its indefinite strike against Basavaraj Bommai-led Karnataka government on 1 March, the chief minister announced a 17 percent salary hike for government employees as an interim relief.
The big picture: In what could have affected the Bharatiya Janata Party's prospects in the upcoming Assembly elections, the KSGEA had announced an indefinite strike, beginning 1 March, that would have involved nearly 10 lakh employees from various departments including health, education, and transport.
The demands: The state government employees had made three crucial demands:
Implementation of the seventh Pay Commission report.
Reverting to the Old Pension Scheme.
Implementation of at least 40 percent of fitment facilities.
Quick defusal: Avoiding any missteps just two months before the polls, the chief minister was quick to defuse the situation by announcing the 17 percent salary hike. As far as the old pension scheme is concerned, CM Bommai ordered the constitution of a committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) to study the New Pension Scheme (NPS) and submit a detailed report.
After their meeting with government authorities, KSGEA President CS Shadakshari said that the strike is being called off as the interim relief order was released.