Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government has ruled that employees on strike for a separate Telangana state will not be paid salary for the days that they have been on strike. This means that over seven lakh government employees in the Telangana districts of Andhra Pradesh will lose 18 days salary, as they have on strike since the September 13. The loss in pay comes during the Dasara (Dussehra)season, which is a very important festival celebrated by the people of Telangana.
The state government says the strike has particularly affected places like the finance department section in the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat at Hyderabad. However, pro-Telangana groups say despite the strike, the Secretariat - the nodal headquarters for the state government - has still been able to function simply because Telangana is grossly underrepresented.
Narendor Rao, chairman, Secretariat Telangana Joint Action Committee says, ''The ten districts of Telangana represent only 15 per cent of staff whereas the other 13 districts represent 85 per cent of the secretariat staff.''
Despite the loss some people support the movement for a Telangana state as they feel it will mean more government jobs for the local youth.
As Yadaiah, one of the people supporting the movement explains: ''My mother says I must get a job at least as a government clerk. Till we get a separate Telangana, whatever my qualification, I won't get a job.''
With people like Yadaiah not willing to back down, the stalemate between them and the government look likely to continue.