New Delhi: At a time when employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) staged protests over a list of 26 demands, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) on Sunday said his administration is not going to change its stand on the issue.

Saying that there will be no talks with the agitating 48,000 Road Transport Corporation (RTC) employees, KCR said he has instructed his officials concerned to make sure RTC buses are plying on the roads.

“The government would not recognise the illegal and unlawful strike under any circumstances and there was no question of having any talks with those on the strike,” KCR said was quoted as saying by ANI.

The protests among RTC employees triggered after the Telangana government issued a statement regarding the sacking of over 40,000 employees.

The protests further intensified after Srinivas Reddy, a bus driver who had set himself ablaze in Khammam district on Saturday, succumbed to his injuries on Sunday. He had suffered 90 per cent burn injuries and was shifted to the DRDO Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad. Fresh protests erupted in Khammam district outside the Apollo DRDO Hospital seeking justice for Reddy who attempted self-immolation after losing his job.

Meanwhile, Reddy’s family members alleged that he was depressed over the state government’s behaviour while dealing with the demands of RTC employees.

Earlier, the Telangana Chief Minister had clarified that the employees went on strike on their own and those abstained from duties will not be taken back. “Workers have blindly believed the irrelevant talk of the union leaders and abstained from duties and lost their jobs voluntarily. This is it. Nobody dismissed anyone,” he had said.

Directing officials to pay September salaries to those who are not part of the strike, KCR asked officials concerned to appoint required employees to run 50 per cent of the RTC buses.

In the wake of the rising protests in the state and as it would take some days to restore 100 per cent bus services, the Chief Minister had announced the extension of Dusshera holidays till October 19.