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AP High Court questions staff strike

HYDERABAD: August 21, 2013 DHNS 2:38 IST

22-day agitation affects governance in 13 districts

determined: Activists protest against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh state for the separate Telangana, in Tirupati on Tuesday.Pti
Even as the agitation for “Samaikyandhra” completed 22 days, the Andhra Pradesh High Court has taken a serious view of government employees of the Seemandhra region going on strike over an issue which has political implications.

The APNGOs joined the agitation on August 12 affecting governance in all the 13 Seemandhra districts and the state secretariat here.

Dealing with a petition filed by advocate Ravi Kumar regarding the ongoing strike by the APNGOs, the High Court on Wednesday questioned the logic behind the agitation by government staff over a political issue. “Are you government employees or private employees,” questioned the court in the light of the dislocation of administration besides the hardships the common man had been facing.

The high court said the government employees should resign before taking part in agitations. It issued notices to the striking employees unions to reply to the queries raised by the court. The court also issued a notice to the central government inquiring about the basis on which it has decided to bifurcate the state.

Presenting the government’s point of view, the government pleader explained how the day-to-day administration was being dislocated due to the strike by the government employees of the Seemandhra region.

He also informed the court that the government was preparing to use Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to put an end to the strike due to which the administration was getting dislocated besides causing numerous problems to the people.

The APNGOs Alliance sought time to file its counter after the court posted the hearing of the case again to Monday.

Bopparaju Venkateswarlu of the Andhra Pradesh Revenue Employees Association, reacting to the high court's directives, said the government employees are not seeking any benefits but are urging the state to be kept united. “We are not bound by the decision taken by a political party,” he said. “We will put forth our argument before the court by Monday.”

Meanwhile, voter turnout for the Avanigadda Assembly constituency byelection was only 19 per cent at noon on Wednesday with a majority of the 1.87 lakh voters choosing to give importance to the kharif agricultural operation. Avanigadda is located in the Krishna district of Coastal Andhra Pradesh which is in the thick of the “Samaikyandhra” agitation.

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