Even as the indefinite strike by the government employees in Seema-Andhra regions, opposing Telangana state completed 40 days with administration remaining completely paralysed, private educational institutions were also set to join the stir from Monday till month end.
While the Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers Association were hell bent upon continuing the strike till the center backtracks on its promise of bifurcation, the state government was coming under pressure from all directions to find an way out.
The Andhra Pradesh high court, which is in the process of hearing two public inter5est litigations against the indefinite strike, was also likely to pass its orders on Monday or Tuesday.
The court, which has asked the APNGOs to clarify how long they intend to continue the strike, was told the by the counsel of the employees that the stir will continue until the government comes out with a clear assurance that the state will not be divided.
Chief Justice Kalyan Jyothi Sengupta, who recorded the statement of the counsel, adjourned the hearing until Monday.
At the same time, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy was also coming under pressure from with in his cabinet to end the strike. The ministers from Andhra and Telangana region adopted contradictory stands on continuing strike.
Senior Telangana minister K Jana Reddy took the chief minister to task for being a silent spectator to the strike and not doing any thing to end it. He told the chief minister that the impression going around was that the strike had his backing and the government was in fact encouraging the strike to pressurise the Center.
S Shailajanath, a senior minister from Andhra region who is opposing Telangana state, tried to counter K Jana Reddy and said that there was no set rule for the government to tackle the agitation.
The chief minister denied Jana Reddy’s allegation about his hand being behind the strike and said that he had already set up a cabinet sub-committee to talk to the striking employees.
Jana Reddy was angry that due to the strike all the development and welfare programs of the state government had come to a standstill.
The cabinet, which met after a gap of more than two months, appeared divided on the regional lines, and in fact nine ministers did not turn up at the meeting indicating the deepening political crisis in the state.
Meanwhile, APNGO president Ashok Babu said that the private educational institutions in 13 districts of Andhra and Rayalaseema regions have agreed to join the strike from September 23 to 30. The government institutions have already been closed since August 12.
“The private institutions have agreed to compensate the loss time during the Dussehra festival holidays,” he said. This was being done to further intensify the struggle as the central leadership of Congress has refused to take note of the agitation in the region so far.
Babu said that the state government has invited the association for talks on Sunday. But he was not too optimistic about the outcome of the meeting.