Reiterating that there is no compromise on their demand for keeping the state undivided, Andhra Pradesh Non Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) Association president P Ashok Babu has said they will continue with their strike.
Speaking at a ‘Meet the Press’ organised by the Andhra Pradesh Journalist Forum here on Saturday, he said APNGOs would not meet the group of ministers (GoM) constituted by the central government to deal with the issues to arise out of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
“Meeting the GoM will be tantamount to compromising on our demand for keeping the state united. We are not, therefore, inclined to meet them,’’ he said.
On several member-organisations of the Joint Action Committee (Samaikya Rashtra Parirakshana Vedika) calling off strike one after another, he said the withdrawal from the strike was temporary.
‘’Electricity employees called off strike on humanitarian grounds as people were facing hardships. Further, with the disaster looming large over the state in the form of a severe cyclone, the employees are chipping in with emergency services. Electricity Employees JAC made it clear that they would go on a flash strike in case Telangana bill was introduced in Parliament.’’
The APNGO chief claimed that it was due to the strike by the employees, teachers and others, and the agitations by other organisations there was delay in tabling the cabinet note. ‘’We hope and pray that bifurcation process does not move forward at all,’’ he said.
When asked what steps they were taking to convince political leaders of the need to keep the state united, he said they would meet all national level leaders and explain to them about the disadvantages of state’s bifurcation. ‘’Not only national leaders, I am also ready to meet even TRS chief K Chandrashekara Rao,’’ he said and reiterated that the demand for a separate Telangana state was politically motivated.
Ashok Babu claimed that the Congress had lost its foothold in Seemandhra where people were looking at its leaders as betrayers. The leaders’ reluctance to resign did not help their cause, he admitted and demanded that TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu make his stance clear. At the same time, said that they did not want to involve political parties in the agitation but welcomed the politicians as individuals to fight for the cause of keeping the state united.
On employees’ issue, he said, “Unlike other states, Andhra Pradesh has a special provision in the Constitution on employees’ issue. The government has to spell out what it intends to do with Article 371 (D).”