The All India Railwaymen Federation has deferred its strike plan till November to give the NDA government time to concede its long-pending demands.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a general council meeting here on Thursday, AIRF general secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra said 97 per cent of the members had voted in a ballot for a strike. At a meeting held at Kota subsequently, the AIRF decided to defer the strike in view of the Lok Sabha polls. As the new government enjoyed majority, the plan was being deferred till November. An AIRF delegation met the Railway Minister, Railway Board representatives, and the Finance and Home Ministers.
Mr. Mishra said the demands included withdrawal of the new pension scheme and retention of the old scheme, removal of anomalies, filling of vacancies, improving the working and living conditions of railway workers who ran 19,500 trains, serving two crore passengers. He opposed Foreign Direct Investment and private-public partnership for the bullet train project. Operation of such trains would require a huge investment, and private players would fix unaffordable fares, he said.