Though Andhra Pradesh government appears to be in no mood to concede the demands of the Telangana Employees Joint Action Committee, it has asked chief secretary Pankaj Dwivedi to engage JAC leaders in talks to end the ongoing strike that entered the 31st day on Thursday.

Members of the cabinet sub-committee on employees issues met Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy in the Secretariat on Thursday afternoon and discussed the demands put forth by the TEJAC.

TEJAC has demanded that the government immediately withdraw the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) enforced in certain departments as well as GO No. 177 that stipulates ‘no-work, no-pay’ rule; besides withdrawal of all police cases booked against striking workers in the last 30 days and an inquiry into the police action against JAC president K. Swami Goud.

But the main demand of the TEJAC is creation of Telangana state, for which they have been on an indefinite strike since September 13.

“Let them call off the strike first and come for discussions so that we can consider their demands,” state ministers Danam Nagender and M. Mukesh Goud, who were part of the Cabinet Sub-Committee, told reporters at the end of the meeting.

When pointed out that the JAC was not ready to attend any further talks with the government without their demands being conceded, the Ministers questioned, “How can a decision be taken without a discussion?”

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