The agitating Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) rank holders on Saturday threatened to intensify their strike outside the Secretariat after conciliatory talks with the government failed.
An intervention made by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) late on Friday to broker peace by facilitating negotiations with the government came to a naught after either side refused to budge.
Three rounds of talks, including one at the DYFI State committee office and others at the Secretariat, failed to resolve the deadlock. The discussions that commenced at 11 p.m. lasted for over two hours.
Laya Suresh, one of the protesting job aspirant, said the government offered to accept four of their demands through an order. These included steps to report unfilled last grade servant (LGS) vacancies in various departments, including GST, conduct appointments to promotion posts, and fill vacancies in posts reserved for compassionate appointments that did not have any claimants.
However, the protesters refused to relent to the government’s demand to call off the agitation as “the assurances did not solve our prime problem of unemployment,” she said.
Emerging from the discussions, DYFI State secretary A.A. Rahim hinted at the possibility of external influence behind the agitation. He said the government considered each of the demands with due importance, but some of them, including the one to create posts to accommodate the protesters, were turned down as they were not practical under the current circumstances.
Riju, another protester, refuted allegations that they had exited the discussions unilaterally. He claimed they were also willing to relax certain demands.
In the aftermath of the failed talks, the protesters decided to rope in more support for their agitation. The families of many rank holders are set to join them in the next few days.
While the police had beefed up security in the area in view of the violent protests that rocked the area during the last few days, no such incident took place on Saturday. Nonetheless, there was a steady stream of Opposition leaders to the agitation venue. They pledged solidarity with the ongoing agitation.