Submitted by alvin on Thu, 2016-06-02 20:37 Bengaluru: The government machinery in the state came to a grinding halt after lakhs of employees stuck work demanding equal pay on par with Union government employees disregarding warnings from the state government. As many as five lakh employees across the state abstained from work on Thursday. In Bengaluru, the usually busy Vidhana Soudha, Vikasa Soudha, different government offices in Visveshwaraiah Towers, BBMP head and ward offices, and the BDA wore a deserted look as employees struck work. Employees from KSRTC, BMTC, and various electricity supply companies across the state extended their moral support for the strike. State Government Employees Association President Manjegowda said, “We had given notice to Chief Secretary, but neither he nor anyone from the government bothered to call us for any kind of discussion. If the government does not look into our demands, the agitation will be intensified in the days to come.” Apart from a hike in salaries, agitating employees also demanded the state government to recruit people to fill vacancies in various departments. At present, the strength of B, C and D employees is 5.4 lakh while the actual requirement is 7.5 lakh. GN Anand, President, BBMP Officers and Employees Association said, “At present there are only 9000 workers in BBMP whereas we need 7000 more employees. All the B, C and D group officials have extended their support.” Siraj Syed, a resident of Anekal, who had arrived in the city to apply for a scholarship at the minority department in Visweswaraiah towers, was one of the many who were caught unaware by the strike. “My son has passed Class 10 and I had come here to apply for scholarship. I did not know that the office would be closed today,” he said. Same was the case with Naseer Ahmed, a resident of Tannery Road, who returned home without getting his work done. Bhaskar, a financer, said he was “jobless” on account of the strike. “Every day, I lend money to seven to eight people by taking cheques from them. Today, I have zero income,” he said. Police, hospitals, and pourakarmikas who come under the essential services continued to work as usual.