*Representational Picture

The Congress and Left parties linked organisations of workers of Coal India Limited (CIL)'s subsidiary Central Coal Fields Ltd are up in arms. They started a three-day strike against the suspected privatisation of the company's resources.

Their members gathered in Ranchi outside the office of the  CCL on Thursday and raised slogans against the e-auction of coal blocks to private parties.

Five labour unions are leading the strike and have halted mining and production activities across CIL's subsidiaries in Jharkhand and seven other states including Chhatisgarh and Odisha.

Even Rajiv Ranjan, Secretary of the BJP backed Akhil Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, supports the striking workers' demands against the privatisation of CIL, a nodal company whose headquarter office is located in Kolkata.

 "We demand that the authorities put a stop to commercial coal mining in our country. We ask that the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) not be separated from CIL and the decision made by the high power committee regarding contractual workers be enforced."

Some other CIL employees associated with these unions claim that their job security will go if CIL is privatised. "We oppose privatisation", said another CCL employee.

However, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is on record saying that the Modi government is determined to introduce competition, transparency and private sector participation in the coal sector and will do infrastructure development of Rs 50,000 crore. 

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