Seemandhra employees protest outside Digvijaya’s house in Delhi

Leaders of government employees from Seemandhra staged a protest outside residence of Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh after he made clear that there will be no going back on the party’s decision on Telangana.

New Delhi/Hyderabad: Leaders of government employees from Seemandhra Wednesday staged a protest outside residence of Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh in New Delhi after he made clear that there will be no going back on the party’s decision to carve out a separate Telangana state.

The leaders raised slogans in support of united Andhra Pradesh and demanded that Congress Working Committee (CWC) take back its July 30 decision.

They criticised Digvijaya Singh, who is in charge of party affairs in the state, for ruling out rollback of the decision. He, however, assured that their concerns would be addressed.

The leaders of the employees, who are on indefinite strike since Aug 13 in Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra), said the division would badly affect them and other people from the two regions living in Hyderabad.

“We are ready to lay down our lives to keep the state united,” said one of the protestors.

They also mobbed state ministers Raghuveera Reddy and Anam Ramnarayana Reddy and MP A. Venkatrami Reddy, who had come to meet the central leaders. The employees demanded their resignations in support of united Andhra.

Leaders of Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) Association also met leaders of various national parties to seek their support against the state’s division.

P Ashok Babu, president of APNGOs, told reporters that if Congress can’t go back on its decision, it can’t either move ahead due to the ongoing protests in Seemandhra.

He said Seemandhra employees would go ahead with their ‘save Andhra Pradesh’ public meeting in Hyderabad on Sep 7. He urged pro-Telangana groups to cooperate in holding the meeting and clarified that it is not against Telangana.

“If government fails to give permission for the meet, we will move the court,” said Ashok Babu, who called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday.

YSR Congress party honorary president YS Vijayamma held one-day fast at Jantar Mantar to demand justice to all regions before bifurcation of the state. She had called on President Pranab Mukherjee and the prime minister on Tuesday.

In Hyderabad, Vijayamma’s son and YSR Congress president Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy continued his fast in Chanchalguda Central Jail for the fourth day.

Jail officials said the MP’s condition was stable.

Police arrested dozens of YSR Congress activists who tried to advance towards the jail to show solidarity with their leader.

State secretariat and other key government offices in Hyderabad continued to be rocked by protests and counter protests by Seemandhra and Telangana employees. Police had tough time in averting a clash between the two sides, who were raising slogans.

While Seemandhra employees were demanding the central government withdraw its decision to divide the state, their counterparts from Telangana wanted immediate steps for formation of Telangana state.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma extended, till Sep 4, prohibitory orders, banning meetings and rallies in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

Protests continued in 13 districts of Seemandhra for the 29th day. Over four lakh government employees and two lakh teachers continued their strike while buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) remained off the roads.