Anti-Telangana stir losing steam as fatigue sets in

Government employees call off their 66-day-long strike after holding talks with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy.

By P S Jayaram

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Published: Fri 18 Oct 2013, 10:33 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 4:32 PM

The anti-bifurcation agitation in Andhra Pradesh is showing signs of fizzling out with the AP Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) Association calling off their 66-day-long strike while the Union Ministers and MPs from Seemandhra region finally accepting the inevitability of the state’s division.

A sense of fatigue appears to have crept into the movement against the bifurcation in the face of clear signals from the UPA government that it would not go back on the decision to carve out separate Telangana state with Hyderabad as common capital for a period of 10 years.

Despite the initial bravado and resignations, the Union Ministers and Congress MPs from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions, jointly referred to as Seemandhra, now appear to have come to accept the reality. They have recognised the need to bargain for a fair deal for the region in terms of sharing of resources after the bifurcation.

They are now readying to negotiate for an attractive financial package for the region and to ensure that issues like river-water and revenue sharing, government jobs and education are sorted out amicably. Already, the employees of the power and transport departments have called off their stir.

The Union Ministers D Purandeshwari and K Kruparani said that it was better for the elected representatives of the region to accept the new reality and work towards a better financial package for the region. Even a staunch integrationist like K Sambasiva Rao chose not to resign from the Union Cabinet.

Meanwhile, the APNGOs called off their strike after holding talks with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy at Secretariat here. “We have decided to withdraw our agitation till the day the Assembly takes up the Telangana draft bill. If the politicians fail to stop that, then we will go on flash strike,” the Association President Ashok Babu said.

While urging the government employees of 13 districts of Seemandhra and also in Hyderabad, to join duties immediately, he said that a decision to withdraw the strike was taken after the Chief Minister assured them that a draft Telangana bill or a resolution would be defeated whenever it comes up before the Assembly. However, the Chief Minister expressed his helplessness on the demand for a rollback of the UPA’s decision to divide the state.

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