Talks between Chief Secretary P. K. Mohanty and employees associations led by the APNGOs Association to end the indefinite strike in Seemandhra region failed after the latter rejected the government’s appeal to call off 63-day old stir to protest against the proposed bifurcation of the State.
P. Ashok Babu, president of APNGOs Association, U. Muralikrishna, chairman of the Secretariat Seemandhra Employees Forum and leaders of several other associations who participated in the talks with Mr. Mohanty in the Secretariat on Tuesday said they could not call off the agitation in the absence of a clear-cut assurance either from the Chief Minister or from the Centre to address all their grievances.
Mr. Mohanty appealed to the employees’ leaders to call off the agitation in view of hardships caused to common people, students and to pilgrims during the ensuing Brahmotsavaram at Tirumala. He promised to convey their concerns to the Chief Minister.
On the other hand, Mr. Ashok Babu said, “We are pained that even after 63-day agitation in Seemandhra, the Chief Secretary says he is not aware of employees’ concerns related to bifurcation.”
Speaking to mediapersons, he observed that the issues could not be resolved at the Chief Secretary level and that the employees would continue the agitation till October 15 in spite of implementation of ESMA, loss of wages and death of some staff. The six-lakh odd employees would contribute money to help families of the deceased, he added.
He said the problems arose due to the political decision of the Centre and it would require another political decision to resolve them. Employees’ future should not be sacrificed for the sake of politics, he added.
‘Onus on Centre’
Mr. Ashok Babu said it was employees’ right to decide whether to agree or oppose the division. They were of the view that grievances could be addressed only when State remained united. About 5.5 lakh government employees, including RTC, electricity, panchayat raj and others in Seemandhra and also employees in five to six districts of Telangana were in favour of a united State.
Mr. Muralikrishna said they would end their strike only when solution to problems related to payment of salaries, pensions, educational and employment opportunities of their children in Hyderabad were addressed.
The State government and the Centre should give written assurances and the Centre should constitute a government committee to study their concerns, he added.
APNGOs say they cannot call off the agitation in the absence of a clear-cut assurance either from the CM or Centre