The Andhra Pradesh government today said it was ready for talks with its employees to resolve issues being raised by them, even as the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of government employees, teachers and workers launched a State-wide agitation demanding that it immediately concede their demands.
Work in government offices across the State, including the Secretariat, remained paralysed as the employees proceeded on a mass casual leave.
The main demands of JAC include filling all vacancies in government departments and rectifying anomalies in pay scales.
State Revenue Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao told newsmen in the Secretariat this morning that there was no truth in the claim that the government remained “indifferent” to the employees’ concerns.
Police detained scores of JAC activists in all districts of the State when they were proceeding to the state capital as part of a ‘Chalo Hyderabad’ call given by the JAC leadership.
The JAC, however, went ahead with its agitation and staged a massive ‘dharna’ near Indira Park here. JAC Chairman Gopal Reddy and vice-president Swami Goud led the agitation.
The Cabinet sub-committee headed by the Revenue Minister to rectify anomalies in pay scales failed to resolve problems, the JAC leaders alleged.
They decried detention of the employees coming to Hyderabad from various districts and alleged that the government was not sincere in resolving the issue.
The Revenue Minister, however, denied the JAC allegation and said the government was ready for talks with employees.
“The JAC claim that several lakh government posts are lying vacant is not true as the number of vacancies in different departments is only 56,000. These vacancies will be filled in due course,” the Minister said.
Mr. Dharmana said the Cabinet sub-committee headed by him was looking into the other demands raised by the JAC. “The sub committee met several times to look into the issues raised by the employees. We have conceded most of their demands. We are looking into the other demands and ready for further talks with them to resolve the issue,” the Minister added and appealed to the employees to call off their agitation.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu condemned the arrest of government employees coming to Hyderabad to take part in the agitation today.
“This is an undemocratic act. The government has no right to prevent employees from taking part in an agitation in a peaceful manner,” Mr. Naidu said in a statement before leaving for New Delhi.
He said the government employees were facing heavy burden because of the increased workload. “The government has not taken up proper recruitment drive in the last six years though thousands of posts were falling vacant. It should publicise details of vacancies in each department,” he demanded.