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Telangana employees say they will not be deterred by ESMA

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Employees of Telangana region will not be deterred even if the State government invoked provisions of Essential Supplies Maintenance Act (ESMA) against them when they launch the non-cooperation movement on February 17.

This was announced by Telangana Non-Gazetted Officers Union president K. Swamy Goud and other employees' leaders after a meeting of Telangana-based employees associations here on Sunday. The meeting was addressed by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

Mr. Goud said use of ESMA, non-payment of salaries or suspension of staff was no deterrence to the movement. Jobs were not as important for them as achieving statehood for the region.

Briefing mediapersons, he said that Mr. Rao was invited as part of seeking the support of all parties for the non-cooperation movement. The TRS and BJP conveyed their support and similar response would be sought from Congress, Telugu Desam, CPI and even CPI (M) which is opposed to separate Telangana.

Mr. Goud warned of violence if the government took any action against employees or made alternative arrangements by outsourcing staff from other regions. The employees were prepared to meet the situation unmindful of even losing their jobs.

Telangana employees' association president C. Vittal regretted that the government was silent to the proposal by employees that they would reconsider non-cooperation movement if it moved a resolution in the Assembly on separate Telangana.

At a meeting in the TRS office, Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao praised the unity of employees in Telangana in the movement. Referring to the unrelenting mood of employees whom he addressed earlier, Mr. Rao said he was convinced that they would make history by paralysing government machinery. He warned that the entire staff in the region would react strongly if the government intimidated them.

He warned that his party MLAs will stall the proceedings of the ensuing session of Assembly and he would himself sit in the podium of Lok Sabha demanding introduction of a Bill in Parliament for separate State.

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