The talks between Cabinet sub-committee and the striking employees here on Sunday failed, with APNGO and other employees unions from Andhra and Rayalseema regions saying they will continue their stir till an announcement is made by the Central Government keeping the state united.
“At the request of the government, we attended the meeting with the sub-committee and explained to them various problems that the employees and workers in particular and the people in general would face due to state bifurcation. Pointing out the different problems arising out of the ongoing agitation, the committee urged us to end the strike and join duties. However, we have made it clear that we will continue the strike till a clear announcement is made by the Central Government for keeping the state united,” APNGOs president P Ashok Babu said.
During the nearly three hours meeting, representatives of various employees and workers unions, including revenue, municipal, RTC and teachers, explained their grievances department-wise and how they stand to loose in case of state bifurcation.
Finance minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy and health minister Kondru Muralimohan, who heard the arguments, asked the employees to list out their grievances and submit them to the government through respective heads of department and also provide a copy to the sub-committee.
After studying the reports, the sub-committee would make necessary recommendations to the state government as well as the Central government through the chief minister.
The striking employees said though they are suffering a lot for more than 40 days now, they are determined to put a stop to state bifurcation.
RTC employees demanded that the corporation be taken over by the state government, but still they will continue the strike till their objective of keeping the state united is achieved. “State division means death of APSRTC,” said RTC employees union leader Damodhar Rao.
Municipal employees’ representatives said state bifurcation will usher in dark days for municipalities in the state, which are already facing paucity of funds.
The government invoking Esma was also raised at the meeting and the ministers assured the employees that it is a mere government procedure and not a disciplinary action against them.
Teachers’ representatives attending the meeting explained to the committee that state division will mean less funds for welfare measures, and education to the poor and downtrodden will be affected.
Seemandra Secretariat Employees Forum president Muralikrishna said they had told the committee in the secretairat they comprise 45 percent of the staff and 90 percent of Seemandra employees are participating in the strike.
Later, speaking to mediapersons, Ramanarayana Reddy said talks between employees and the Cabinet sub-committee will continue. “We have discussed several issue with employees’ leaders in a cordial atmosphere. The issue is a sensitive one. We have explained to them the various problems that have arisen out of the agitation. Both the state and Central governments have taken note of the gravity of the situation. We have asked the employees to rejoin their duties for ensuring that people are not subjected to further suffering, as it is the poor and the middle class, who are affected the most,” he said.
The minister explained that with the failure of supervisory system due to the agitation, they are not sure as to what extent essential commodities are reaching the beneficiaries through the public distribution system. He said health services have been effected and RTC buses going off road in 13 districts has put additional burden on people. “Northeast monsoon will soon reach the state and normally during the time, cyclones strike coastal areas. Hence, we requested the employees to report to to tackle any eventuality,” he said.