Hyderabad: Contradicting the claim by the Chief Minister`s Office, the Joint Action Committee of electricity employees of Andhra-Rayalaseema region announced late Wednesday that it would launch a 72-hour strike from midnight on Wednesday protesting the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
The Chief Minister`s Office in the evening had issued a statement, saying that electricity employees had agreed to defer their indefinite strike from tomorrow.
The JAC leaders, however, clarified subsequently that they would observe a 72-hour strike from midnight today.
"We are not concerned with the CMO statement. We are going on strike but will ensure power supply to railways, hospitals and water supply schemes," the JAC leaders said.
Earlier, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy held talks with the Joint Action Committee leaders at his camp residence this evening and asked them to call off the strike.
"On behalf of all the power utilities in the state, we appeal to all electricity employees, who have served the strike notice, to reconsider their proposed strike, taking the prevailing situation of power in the state into cognisance," CMDs of Transco, Genco and AP Central Power Distribution Company appealed.
The Chief Minister too appealed to striking government employees, teachers and all other agitators not to disturb essential services.
He also directed Chief Secretary P K Mohanty and other top officials to initiate discussions with the employees and "convince" them of the importance of essential services, a press release from the Chief Minister`s Office said.
The Chief Minister also asked the officials to make all efforts to ensure that schools, colleges and other educational institutions remained open.