The agitation by the pro-united Andhra employees unions against the proposed division of the state would intensify further, its leaders warned on Monday.
Asserting that invoking the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) would not prevent them from participating in the agitation, they said the stir would be joined by other employees like teachers.
In Srikakulam, APNGOs Association president P. Ashok Babu threatened to bring emergency services under the ambit of the indefinite strike from September 1.
He said at least two lakh government employees from Seemandhra region will soon hold a public meeting in Hyderabad to make Centre aware of the strong sentiments of people from Coastal Andhra-Rayalaseema regions over united Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Babu said the strike would continue irrespective of the state government’s move to clamp ESMA.
“There will be no let up in indefinite strike being observed in Seemandhra till Congress rolls back its decision on creation of Telangana. Promulgation of ESMA will not have any effect on the strike,” Mr. Babu told a public meeting at Srikakulam.
The meeting was organised by the district Joint Action Committee (JAC) representing government employees, RTC employees, advocates, teachers unions and students organisations.
“Why did government not invoke ESMA when employees from Telangana region observed strike for about 42 days?... We started the movement just a week back,” Mr. Babu said.
Meanwhile, various JAC leaders who also addressed the rally said that “alternatives” would be found out to protect striking employees from the provisions of ESMA.
The Finance Department of Andhra Pradesh government on August 17, issued an order prohibiting with immediate effect strikes in the treasury, pay and accounts and works accounts wings for the next six months, against the backdrop of the indefinite stir.
The pro-united AP teachers unions’ announced on Sunday that they would join the agitation from August 21.
The employees of various departments of the state government had begun an indefinite strike on August 13.
Meanwhile, protests by pro-united Andhra employees in Hyderabad continued on Monday with the staff of power utilities taking out a protest here.
Protests like rallies, human chains, fasts, sit-ins continued across the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema -regions on Monday against the division of Andhra Pradesh.
YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) Honorary president Y.S. Vijayamma began a hunger strike in Guntur. Several MLAs and other leaders of both YSRCP and TDP have been holding fasts in the two regions in the wake of the ruling Congress announcing its decision in favour of separate Telangana on July 30.