Seemandhra employees plan strike from Aug 12

Hyderabad, Aug 5 (IANS) Government employees in Rayalaseema and Andhra have threatened to launch an indefinite strike from Aug 12, if the elected representatives from the two regions failed to quit to stall bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

After a meeting with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu here Monday, leaders of Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers’ Association (APNGO) said they would go ahead with the strike.
The employees are demanding all central ministers, MPs, state ministers and legislators to resign by Aug 12 to mount pressure on the central government to reverse its decision to carve out separate Telangana state.
“We want the centre to keep the state united and we are making all efforts to ensure this,” APNGO’s state president P. Ashok Babu told reporters.
The APNGO’s leaders urged TDP to revert to its earlier policy of united Andhra Pradesh. The meeting was significant as the main opposition party said after July 30 announcement by the central government that it is committed to state’s bifurcation.
Ashok Babu said the employees and pensioners from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra) settled in Hyderabad would be the worst hit by the state’s division.
According to him, employees from Seemandhra would lose 25,000 jobs while over one lakh pensioners living in Hyderabad would face uncertain future. He believes the division would also create problems for employees working in 40 public sector units in Hyderabad
“Hyderabad is not the state capital but destination of opportunities. It is the brand image of Andhra Pradesh. You may build a capital by construction new buildings for secretariat and assembly but you can’t build a city like this,” he said
On Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao’s remark that employees from Seemandhra would have to go back to their regions, Ashok Babu said he had been saying this from the beginning but the timing of his latest statement had raised fears among people from Seemandhra living in Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, Seemandhra employees in state secretariat continued their protest. They staged a sit-in in front of ‘C Block’ which houses the office of the chief minister and demanded the central government to reverse its decision.
The employees raised slogans of “We want justice” and “Hyderabad belonged to all”. Some of them demanded that the central government take an opinion of people living in Hyderabad before deciding its future.