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T strike continues as talks hit roadblock

The Telangana Employees Joint Action Committee has refused to call off the Sakala Janula Samme, the general strike, until the Centre announces a clear roadmap for the formation of Telangana State.

After participating in the talks with the State Government at the State Secretariat here on Saturday, the JAC leaders Swamy Goud, Srinivas Goud, Devi Prasad and others said that the employees would not withdraw the strike until the Centre announces a time bound and clear roadmap for the formation of Telangana State. They said that the formation of Telangana State was the only demand on which the employees have started the strike.

Talking to reporters later, the JAC leaders said that the withdrawal of cases, cancellation of GO 177 and other demands surfaced only after the strike began and the State Government was responsible for the same. Stating that they were ready to hold talks only after the government restores the pre-strike situation and the single-point agenda for further talks would be statehood for Telangana.

The Cabinet Sub-Committee led by Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha expressed its inability to give any assurance on formation of Telangana on the grounds that the issue was pending with the Centre. The members of cabinet sub-committee – N Raghuveera Reddy, Danam Nagender, M Mukesh Goud and Dharmana Prasad Rao – told the JAC members that the Centre was making efforts to resolve the Telangana issue and they could expect an announcement in near future. The cabinet sub-committee assured the JAC that they would consider other demands including withdrawal of cases and cancellation of GO 177 after taking legal opinion.

However, the JAC leaders insisted that the State Government pressurise the Centre to grant statehood for Telangana region. They even said that they were not afraid of losing their jobs, if they are assured of getting Telangana State. The JAC leaders then walked out of the talks.

Speaking to media persons, Labour Minister Danam Nagender said that the government was willing to consider all the demands, but it could not give an assurance on Telangana as the issue would be decided by the Centre. He hoped that the Centre would soon come out with an announcement to end the impasse. He said the cabinet sub-committee would discuss the issue again with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy.

In view of failure of talks, the possibilities of the general strike, which entered 33rd day on Saturday, coming to an end in near future have evaporated.

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