Tension among employees in Hyderabad government offices

    By IANS,

    Hyderabad : The protests triggered by the central government’s decision to carve a separate Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh have not only paralysed the state administration but led to tension Tuesday between the employees of Telangana and Seemandhra regions at government offices in Hyderabad.

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    The employees from Telangana and Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra) Tuesday nearly came to blows at Jala Soudha and Vidyut Soudha, the offices of irrigation and electricity departments respectively.

    The incident at Jala Soudha took place during lunch hour when Seemandhra employees were staging a protest against the central government’s decision to bifurcate the state. They were raising slogans in favour of ‘samaikya Andhra’ or united Andhra.

    The employees from Telangana, who were holding a meeting at the same office to mark the birth anniversary of late leader Jayashankar, raised counter slogans, supporting formation of Telangana state.

    The two sides had heated arguments and nearly came to blows. Police intervened to prevent the situation from turning ugly.

    Tension prevailed at Vidyut Soudha when a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader P. Keshav, opposing the state’s division, visited the office to meet Seemandhra employees. The two sides raised slogans against each other. Telangana employees took strong exception to TDP leader’s visit and some of them allegedly tried to attack him. Police prevented a clash.

    Keshav visited the office a day after leaders of Telangana Joint Action Committee and Telangana Rashtra Samithi called on Telangana employees.

    Meanwhile, Seemandhra employees continued their protest at the state secretariat. Raising slogans of “we want Hyderabad” and “we want samaikya Andhra”, they took out a rally and demanded that the central goverment should reverse its decision.

    Secretariat, the seat of governance, is deserted ever since the central government July 30 took the decision to bifurcate the state.

    Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy is not attending his office at the secretariat and is confined to his camp office or official residence.

    The ministers from Seemandhra are also not coming to the secretariat as many of them are busy meeting the chief minister or lobbying in Delhi against the state’s division.

    A majority of the ministers from Telangana are also staying away from their offices. With no review meetings being held, top officials are also not coming to the secretariat.

    Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers’ Association (APNGO), representing Seemandhra employees, served strike notice on the government.

    The employees of all government departments in 13 districts of Seemandhra and in Hyderabad will go on indefinite strike from midnight of Aug 12.

    After serving the notice on Chief Secretary P.K. Mohanty, APNGO president Ashok Babu said they would go on strike if the central and state ministers and MPs and state legislators from Seemandhra failed to resign to mount pressure on the central government.

    “We want to create a political vacuum in the parliament to stall the state’s division,” he said.

    The employees of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corp have also decided to join the strike.

    He hoped that employees of municipal administration and electricity departments would also join the strike.

    Ashok Babu said the employees and students would be hit hard by the state’s division. “We are going on strike as we feel this is our social responsibility. We appeal to people to cooperate as division would cause more pain and loss,” he added.