Supporters of united Andhra Pradesh gather on a street and shout slogans during a protest against the formation of a separate Telangana state, in Ananthapuram. (AFP photo)
Though Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Reddy tried to win over striking non-gazetted officers association by invoking the threat of an approaching cyclone and assured them he won’t allow the division of the state as long as he was in power, the employees said they will continue the indefinite strike unless a concrete guarantee is given.
"The chief minister requested us to call off the strike to avoid inconvenience to the people. But we told him the strike will continue till a specific assurance was given on the bifurcation issue," association leader U Murali Krishna said.
Krishna added the association will discuss the government's proposal and convey its response to the Cabinet sub-committee in a day or two.
More than 6 lakh non-gazetted officials have been striking since August 12 against the state’s division.
The blackouts caused by closing down of major power plants in Seemandhra, after more than 30,000 electricity employees joined the strike three days, has hit emergency services, train traffic and businesses.
Amid the uncertainty generated by the failure of the talks, home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the ministers’ panel headed by him and formed to look into the formation of Telangana state will meet for the first time on Friday. The central government has ruled out a rethink on the issue.
YSR Congress chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy's indefinite fast against the bifurcation, meanwhile, entered fifth day today even as his condition continued to deteriorate.
TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu being examined by a doctor during the second day of his indefinite fast over Telangana issue at Andhra Bhawan in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)
Jagan is suffering from dehydration and is having fever, doctors who examined him said. With the young leader turning weak and the sugar level coming down, doctors have advised him to take fluids and warned him he may slip into coma if continues the fast. Jagan is also refusing to take fluids or any medicines.
Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu continued his fast at Andhra Pradesh Bhavan in New Delhi on the third day today, despite being directed to vacate the place.
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Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the Centre will not interfere in the matter as it was an internal matter between the Andhra Bhavan and Naidu. Andhra Pradesh government has sought home ministry’s help in evicting Naidu.
Reddy and Naidu are leading the anti-Telangana stir, even as the Congress released letters written by the TDP and YSR Congress to Shinde, pledging support to the bifurcation of the state.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which spearheaded the campaign for a separate state, met AP governor ESL Narasimhan and urged him to dismiss Kiran Kumar, accusing him of working against the formation of Telangana.
Police patrol during a curfew in Vizianagaram district in Andhra Pradesh. Blackouts hit emergency services and industry in many parts of Andhra. (Reuters Photo)