Seemandhra limping back to normalcy

Hyderabad, Oct 11 (IANS) Seemandhra limping back to normalcy with electricity employees, teachers and the staff of state secretariat here temporarily calling off their strike.

A day after electricity employees and teachers announced their decision to return to work, the Seemandhra employees of state secretariat also temporarily called off their 38-day-old strike. This followed talks their leaders had with Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Friday.

Other government employees of Seeamandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) and the workers of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) are also likely to take a decision later in the day on the chief minister's appeal to end the strike.

After the five-day strike to oppose the Centre's decision to divide Andhra Pradesh, the electricity employees in all 13 districts of Seemandhra returned to work Friday. The generation and transmission of electricity has resumed providing much-needed relief to people, especially hospitals.

Over two lakh teachers of government-run schools and colleges also called off their strike Thursday following talks with the chief minister. The educational institutions, which were closed for nearly two months, will reopen Oct 17 after Dusshera and Eid holidays.

Over six lakh government employees, who are on strike since Aug 12, are expected to call off the strike. Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) Association is likely to make an announcement later in the day after consultations with its district units.

APSRTC buses may also return to the roads soon as the employees' leaders are waiting for some assurances from the government with regard to wages before making a formal announcement.

Various sections of employees ended the strike after the chief minister assured them that the issue of formation of Telangana state would be referred to state assembly twice, once for its opinion and the second time for voting. He also assured that all legislators from Seemandhra would ensure the defeat of Telangana bill. The employees' leaders claimed that the chief minister quoted Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh as saying that the issue would be referred twice to the state assembly.

The chief minister Friday spoke to Digvijaya Singh over phone to convey that Home Minister SushilKumar Shinde's statement had created confusion among employees coming forward to call off the strike. Shinde had said Thursday that the bill would be sent to assembly only for its opinion.

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