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BEST strike: CM speaks to Sena chief over ongoing stir

With about a week of strike causing inconvinence to the public, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday intervened in the BEST bus strike in Mumbai and spoke to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to find a solution after BJP’s ally Sena in the state promised to merge the budget and willing to consider their demand.

The Bombay High Court on Monday has criticised the workers of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport for continuing their bus strike that entered its seventh day, according to the agencies.

Over 32,000 employees of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) are on strike since on Tuesday last week and 3200-odd buses in its fleet are off the roads.

The telephonic conservation between Fadnavis and Thackeray took place after a meeting Monday in Mantralaya between striking BEST union functionaries and state chief secretary DK Jain failed to break the deadlock.

The details of the telephonic conservations between Fadnavis and Thackeray were not immediately known.

The Shiv Sena has been unable to end the strike despite its affiliated union, the BEST Kamgar Sena, announcing a pullout a day into the strike.

The Sena is also the ruling party in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and its corporator is the BEST chairman.

Striking workers have been demanding the merger of the BMC and BEST budgets as well as higher salaries among other issues.

On late Sunday evening, Thackeray had said that his party was in favour of merging the BMC and BEST budgets.

“The financial condition of the BEST has deteriorated. I had given the promise of merger of the budgets and that will be fulfilled. A solution can be found only through the talks. Even though the BEST strike issue is in the court, I am ready to be part of the discussion if necessary,” Thackeray had said.

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