The 39-day agitation in Seema-Andhra against Andhra Pradesh division reached Hyderbad on Saturday with “Save Andhra Pradesh”, a huge rally of the Andhra Pradesh non-gazetted officers.
The NGOs, who are in the forefront of the protests with their strike from about a month now, have called for the state to be kept united for the larger benefit of all the regions and people of Andhra Pradesh.
The rally in the Lal Bahadur Stadium in the centre of Hyderabad raised tensions in the state capital as the Telangana Joint Action Committee called for the city shutdown in protest.
Some students and other separatist bodies had vowed to disrupt the convention allowed by the city police and the high court where the permission was challenged.
Besides minor disruptions by some Telangana activists who were restricted or arrested by the Police, the rally went off peacefully and demanded immediate rollback of the Congress decision to bifurcate the state.
Apart from their service and future, the main issue nibbling the employees – administrative, road transport, municipal workers etc – is Hyderabad, a world class city of opportunities.
Comparing Seemandhra and Telangana to husband and wife and Hyderabad as their son who has become a successful (software) engineer now, APNGOs president Ashok Babu said it would be injustice to divide the couple after so many years and handing the son to the mother, leaving the old father to his fate.
“United or divided is up to us, not in hands of a handful of politicians,” Babu said at the rally.
However, speaking to reporters in New Delhi, home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the Telangana process would be carried-on though he did not commit a deadline. Shinde, had last week said that a cabinet note on Telangana would be presented in three weeks.
Shinde also said that there are a couple of options the centre is considering on Hyderabad.
Buoyed by the rally’s success, the employee leaders warned the centre with a “million-march” in Hyderabad soon, if Telangana formation is not stopped. They reiterated demand for resignations of all MPs, MLAs and ministers from the Seemandhra region to bring pressure on the centre.