Two rounds of talks between Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and striking power sector employees have failed to end the crisis. More talks are expected today. (Live updates)
Long power cuts have virtually paralysed hospitals in the Seemandhra region. At the government-run King George hospital, wards where babies are being treated were on emergency mode all of yesterday, as incubators could not work. Doctors fear the power cuts could be life-threatening for critical patients.
Airports in Seemandhra are also operating on backup systems. Train services have been the worst hit. Cellular phone services are down across much of the state; internet and ATM services have also been affected. Petrol stations have also been affected. 12,000 buses are off the road.
A worried Centre is considering imposing the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to force employees to return to work.
With a shortfall of 4,000 MW of power generation, Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala have written to the central electricity authority warning of a possible failure of the Southern Grid, which could black out all southern states. (Read)
The government employees from the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions - collectively known as Seemandhra - have been agitating for over two months against the proposed division of the state. They have not taken their salaries for nearly 70 days.
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde ruled out the option of central rule in the state lacerated by massive, violent protests over the union government's decision to bifurcate it.
Two politicians are on fast against Telangana. In Hyderabad, YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy is on his fifth day of fast. Politician N Chandrababu Naidu has been asked to shift out of Andhra Pradesh Bhawan in Delhi, where he has been fasting since Monday. But the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief has refused to budge.
The ruling Congress has said it won't change its decision, and accused both Jagan Mohan Reddy and Mr Naidu of changing their stand on Telangana with an eye on polls due by May. The Congress yesterday circulated a letter by the TDP chief to the Centre in 2008, saying his party supported the creation of Telangana. (Read)
The political ambivalence reflects the dilemma that Telangana represents for many parties - it is politically strategic and will elect 17 parliamentarians once it is a state; on the other hand, leaders from the non-Telangana areas of Andhra Pradesh say voters will not forgive them for ceding the separation of the financially robust region