The A.P. State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) workers and employees will stay off the three-day Seemandhra shut-down, proposed by Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers’ (APNGOs) Association from February 10.

The APNGOs Association’s has given a bandh call asking all sections to join the strike aimed at building pressure on the UPA Government at the Centre to stop bifurcation of the State by expressing strong resentment against the move on a large scale.

“We will express solidarity with the APNGOs strike but we cannot afford to join the strike at this crucial phase. We have been fighting against illicit operation of private vehicles for many years but the authorities concerned did not take heed,” APSRTC Employees Union zonal secretary Y. Venkateswara Rao told The Hindu on Saturday.

Raids on private vehicles plying in violation of permit regulations in the aftermath of the Palem bus tragedy have resulted in substantial increase in the RTC revenue. “At this crucial juncture, we cannot afford to leave duties and join the strike, as it might once again pave way for entry of private operators,” he added. “The APNGOs have already given exemption to the smooth conduct of crucial exams and absence of RTC services will adversely impact the students,” said Mr. Rao.

The Union, however, insists that instead of a demonstration by employees’ sector, the APNGOs Association must call for a ‘sakala janula samme’. “We are in the final phase of the agitation and a strike by only employees will not serve the purpose. We must include all sectors including the Central Government departments like railways, banking, electricity, postal wing and others to create the desired impact and politicians must lead the agitation,” he said.

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