Around 3,500 Seemandhra employees in the Secretariat boycotted their duties here on Saturday to register their protest against bifurcation of the state.
They took out a rally under the banner ‘Andhra Pradesh Secretariat Seemandhra Employees Forum’ and staged a dharna. Raising slogans that Hyderabad belonged to all and seeking justice for employees and their families, the employees accused the Congress Working Committee of taking a unilateral decision without consulting employees from Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema who made Hyderabad their home since decades.
Deploring TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao for his provocative remarks that Andhra employees had no option except to go back to Andhra, they recalled that he had earlier said that TRS was not against those who were living in Hyderabad for their livelihood. But now he wants the Seemandhra employees to go back. “Employees are ordinary people and did not earn crores of rupees like Rao,” forum secretary KV Krishnaiah said.
The Forum leaders in a memorandum to governor ESL Narasimhan and chief secretary PK Mohanty said that the Congress had announced the division of the state without any specific modalities for bifurcation.
“The employees working in the Secretariat hail from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions. The decision will hamper the service conditions of the employees. The conflicting statements of Congress leaders and other parties is causing apprehension among employees and people living in Hyderabad. The employees are feeling insecure. The UPA government should review the decision on bifurcation,” they demanded.
They gheraoed minister S Sailajanath and former minister Gade Venkata Reddy who visited the Secretariat to extend their support to the agitating employees. “We will not allow any leader into the Secretariat. If the ministers, MLAs, MPs want to extend support to us, they should first resign in support of Seemandhra,” the employees said.
Later speaking to reporters later, Sailajanath found fault with KCR’s statement that Seemandhra employees should leave Hyderabad after the division. “Hyderabad is not the jagir of KCR. Hyderabad was built with the blood of Seemandhra people,” Sailajanath, who hails from Anantapur district said.
Sailajanath and Venkata Reddy said that they would stand for United Andhra.