Seemandhra employees to go on strike from midnight

Hyderabad, Aug 12 (IANS) The protest in Seemandhra over the central government's decision to carve out separate Telangana state is set to intensify with the government employees going ahead with their indefinite strike from Monday midnight.

Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGO) association, which represents employees of Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra) announced its decision to go ahead with the strike after its talks with a group of ministers failed.

APNGO president P. Ashok Babu said four lakh employees would go on strike as the central and state ministers, MPs and state legislators from Seemandhra have not resigned for keeping the state united as demanded by the employees.

Employees from Seemandhra posted in Hyderabad will also participate in the strike, which is likely to paralyse the administration. Employees of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) and electricity department may join the strike.

Employees of various departments have already served strike notices on the chief secretary. APNGO rejected the appeal by the group of ministers to withdraw the strike call.

The group of ministers headed by Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha, who hails from Telangana, held talks with the APNGO leaders.

Ashok Babu urged the government to cooperate with the employees in the peaceful protests. He said despite the strike, the employees would participate in the Independence Day celebrations.

Meanwhile, Seemandhra employees staged a protest in state secretariat demanding resignations of the ministers. They surrounded three ministers Anam Ramnarayan Reddy, Raghuveera Reddy and P. Satyanarayana, demanding them they resign.

Protests against the central government's decision continued in Seemandhra for the 13th day. Employees, students, political activists and people from various walks of life took out rallies, formed human chains and staged road blockades.

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