Hyderabad: Government employees in Telangana on Friday boycotted talks with the Andhra Pradesh cabinet sub-committee over their proposed general strike from August 17 to push for a separate Telangana.
Leaders of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Telangana employees, teachers and gazetted officers boycotted the talks to protest government's move to invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) in various departments.
The JAC has made it clear that talks with the government was possible only if it withdraws orders invoking ESMA and calls back paramilitary and forces deployed in government offices.
Leaders of JAC walked out of the meeting with the five-member cabinet sub-committee after submitting a memorandum demanding withdrawal of ESMA and paramilitary forces as a pre-requisite for talks.
The cabinet panel led by Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha had invited the JAC for talks to avert the general strike.
The JAC, comprising several unions of employees, plan to go on an indefinite general strike from August 17 demanding creation of Telangana state and resolution of service-related issues.
JAC chairman K Swamy Goud told reporters that the atmosphere was not congenial for talks. "The government should first withdraw its orders enforcing ESMA in certain departments and should call back all police and para-military forces deployed on the premises of government offices," he said.
He said the government on one hand invited them for talks but on the other was trying to intimidate employees by invoking ESMA and deploying forces.