Pro-AP employees plan million marches

Seemandhra employees, including Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs), who gathered in large numbers at the Lal Bahadur Stadium here on Saturday threatened to conduct a million marches in the state capital if the Centre announced a separate Telangana state without addressing the concerns of the other two regions.

The meeting also urged the Union government to proceed further only after seeking a resolution from the state Assembly.

The three-hour meeting with the tagline “Save Andhra Pradesh”, held amid paramilitary protection, to counter Telangana bandh, and demonstrations by Telangana agitators, was attended by thousands of government employees from the 13 districts of the Seemandhra region, as well as Hyderabad. Most leaders of Seemandhra units in over 200 government departments participated.

Some participants, however, had to face stone-pelting and other protests. Meanwhile, countering the Seemandhra meeting, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) legislators began a sit-in strike at the Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Saturday. Led by TRS members E Rajender, Harish Rao, P Srinivasa Reddy, the agitators protested against the state government's denial of permission to take out a rally while allowing Seemandhra employees their meeting.  Harish Rao alleged that the Telugu Desam Party had mobilised large crowds for the Save AP meeting, and though the police said only employees were allowed in the stadium, many anti-social elements joined the gathering.

Back at the “Save AP meeting,” thousands of private employees, particularly from the IT sector, who were not allowed inside the stadium as per the High Court directive, formed a human chain and expressed solidarity.

Noted ideologue P Mitra (grandson of Marxist icon P Sundaraiah) and popular Telugu ghazal singer Gazal Srinivas were among the special invitees.  The state secretariat wore an empty look due to the bandh and the meeting.

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