Hyderabad: Facing flak from Congress high
command as well as the Centre over his handling of the strike
in favour of separate statehood for Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Monday said his government
would adopt zero-tolerance approach towards the protesters,
particularly those seeking to disturb law and order.
"We will initiate stern action against anyone, including
leaders, spearheading the statehood agitation, if they try to
create any law and order problem or cause any inconvenience to
the people," Reddy said after a high-level meeting with some
ministers and top officials here.
He also directed the Group of Ministers on employees`
issues to immediately invite the striking Telangana Employees
Joint Action Committee leaders for talks to end the indefinite
strike that began on September 18.
"If required, I too will negotiate with them. They
(employees) have a responsibility to people, like we have,"
Kiran pointed out.
"The Centre is seriously undertaking the consultation
process. But a decision cannot be taken in a surcharged
atmosphere," he said while appealing to the JAC to call off
the strike immediately.
The Chief Minister has been directed by the party high
command to crack down on the strike which has paralysed normal
life for the last 28 days.
He also alleged that the agitators were trying to prevent
coal production at mines in Singareni Collieries.