With assurance from Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy that he would ask the Central government to study Article 371(D) in depth, the APNGOs called off their 66-day-old strike on Thursday. Around 3.5 lakh employees will attend duties from Friday.
During three-hour discussions with the APNGOs, the Chief Minister assured them that he would write a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting him to follow the same procedure to divide the state, which was followed during the formation of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
On the employees’ main demand of protecting their rights under Article 371(D), he said he would urge the Centre to undertake a detailed study. The State would send a report to the Centre on this. APNGOs’ president P Ashok Babu told the Chief Minister that Article 371(D) was a symbol of sacrifice made by Seemandhra employees during the Jai Andhra movement and they were not ready to forgo their rights. “The Chief Minister assured us he would send a report to the Centre on Article 371 (D),” Ashok Babu told reporters later. Kiran also assured the employees that the Congress Legislature Party would oppose the T resolution in the Assembly.
“We are suspending our strike. When the T-resolution comes up for debate in the State Legislative Assembly, we will go for a flash strike again,” Ashok Babu said. However, the Chief Minister expressed his inability to give any assurance on behalf of the Centre.
Around 50,000 panchayat Raj employees and 3,000 veterinary staff too called off their strike after talks with Kiran. A communique from the Chief Minister’s office said the Chief Minister had assured all that they would be given an opportunity to pour out their woes before the Group of Ministers. If the GoM doesn’t meet people, he will not meet the GoM.