Hyderabad: On the 30th day of the indefinite
general strike, the Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday engaged
the Telangana Employees` Joint Action Committee in talks for
the first time but no breakthrough appeared in sight.
The JAC placed three demands before the government but
without any promise that it would call off the strike if the
demands were conceded.
The government, on its part, said it will have to discuss
the demands and take a decision. "It will take some time,"
State Finance Minister and member of the Cabinet Sub-Committee
on employees issues Aanam Ramanarayana Reddy told newsmen at
the end of the talks with the JAC leaders.
The Cabinet Sub-Committee invited the TEJAC for talks
today to resolve the issue after the Chief Minister was
directed by the Centre to end the indefinite strike that has
totally paralysed governance in Telangana region.
The JAC demanded that the government immediately withdraw
the Essential Services Maintenance Act enforced in certain
departments as well as GO No. 177 that stipulates no-work,
no-pay rule; withdraw all police cases booked against
striking workers in the last 30 days and order an inquiry into
the police action against JAC president K Swami Goud.
"We will discuss these demands with the Chief Minister
and take a decision. But we have not got any assurance from
the JAC that it would call off the strike if the demands are
conceded," Ramanarayana Reddy said.
Since the GO related to `no-work, no-pay` was being
implemented on the orders of the state High Court, the
government would have to keep the court informed about any
action in this regard.
On the employees` main demand -- creation of Telangana
state -- the Finance Minister pointed out that the Government
of India was seized of the matter. "The Prime Minister himself
is seriously looking into this. Hence, the strike need not be
linked to it," he added.
TEJAC leader Swami Goud, however, told reporters that
they would not take part in further talks with the government
unless it immediately withdrew ESMA and GO 177. Also, all
cases booked against striking employees should be withdrawn,