Press Trust of India
HYDERABAD, 14 AUG: The indefinite strike by Andhra Pradesh NGOs Association against the proposed division of the state crippled government services in 13 districts across Seemandhra region for the second consecutive day even as talks held between the government and striking employees failed to end the deadlock.
More than four lakh employees in 13 districts are on strike demanding that Centre immediately withdraw its move to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. Talks were held between a cabinet sub-committee, comprising deputy Chief Minister Damodara Rajanarasimha, Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy and leaders of AP Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) Association in the state Secretariat here but, the latter refused to call off the stir.
Government offices remained shut as employees from almost every department joined the strike.
“Me, my joint collector, revenue divisional officers and deputy collectors are on duty. No one else is at work,” Rayalaseema Collector said over phone.
AP NGOs Association president Ashok Babu said: “Our strike will continue till our demand is conceded. We will announce our future course of action after a meeting of employees’ associations in Guntur on 16 August”.
Meanwhile, normal life continued to be affected in various districts in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions with people from different walks of life voluntarily joining the agitation for united Andhra Pradesh which entered the 15th day today.
Public transport came to a grinding halt across Andhra-Rayalaseema as AP State Road Transport Corporation workers too continued the strike.
In Tirupati, however, RTC drivers agreed to ply buses to Tirumala Hills, abode of Lord Venkateswara, for the convenience of thousands of pilgrims who visit the shrine daily. Chittoor district Collector Solomon Arokia Raj is constantly monitoring the situation to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the pilgrims.