United Andhra activists protest against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in Tirupati
The Andhra Pradesh High Court today pulled up government employees of Seemandhra for their ongoing strike over the issue of bifurcation of the state.
The court asked the employees to explain how could they participate in a political movement while continuing as government servants.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice KC Bhanu observed that the strike was causing inconvenience to people.
Dealing with a petition, seeking court orders to declare the strike illegal, the court asked Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers Association and Secretariat Employees Forum to file counter affidavits by Monday.
Over four lakh employees in Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra) are on indefinite strike since August 13, demanding that the central government should reverse its decision to carve out a separate Telangana state.
Meanwhile, Seemandhra employees at state secretariat have decided to go on indefinite strike from September 2 midnight. Secretariat Employees Forum Wednesday served strike notice on Chief Secretary PK Mohanty.
Over 3,000 Seemandhra employees at the secretariat have been staging protests at the secretariat ever since the Congress Working Committee decided July 30 to bifurcate the state.
"We have decided to intensify our protest by going on indefinite strike," said Forum president U Murali Krishna.
The strike may bring to a complete halt the work at secretariat, where a majority of the employees are from Seemandhra.
The strike has already paralysed administration and also road transport in 13 districts of Seemandhra.
Meanwhile, non-gazetted officers association president Ashok Babu told reporters in Visakhapatnam that they were on strike to put pressure on the central government to keep the state united. He clarified that there was no politics in their protest.
He reiterated that the employees were in the forefront of the protest as the bifurcation would affect their interests.
As the strike continues to affect the ongoing counselling for students seeking admissions into engineering courses in Seemandhra, the high court Wednesday said students can attend counselling anywhere in the state.
The court directed the government to make arrangements for students appearing for counselling in Hyderabad or other parts of Telangana.