Telangana protests: Power crisis hits Seemandhra, Shinde calls for calm

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 07, 2013 18:14 hrs

New Delhi: Large parts of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions remained in darkness for the second day on Monday and several trains cancelled with electricity employees on strike amid continuing protests against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

Former chief minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu brought his fight against bifurcation of the state to the national capital when he started an indefinite fast.

Concerned over simmering tension on granting Telangana statehood, the Centre appealed to people to create the environment for healthy dialogue process and assured all regions of AP that an amicable solution that safeguards interests of all will be found.

The appeal by Union home minister Sushilkuamr Shinde came even as curfew remained in place in violence-hit Vizianagaram town — the epicentre of the protests in support of "United Andhra". Curfew was clamped on Saturday night.

"We are confident of achieving an amicable solution that gives safeguards to people of all regions in the state," Shinde told PTI in New Delhi after a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh whom he briefed about the prevailing situation in Seemandhra.

Shinde's deputy RPN Singh said there is no scope for "reconsidering" the proposed creation of Telangana.

Shinde's statement came close on the heels of four Union ministers of Seemandhra region meeting the Prime Minister requesting him to accept their resignations over Telangana statehood but got no assurance.

HRD minister MM Pallam Raju, tourism minister K Chiranjeevi, minister of state for commerce D Purandeswari and minister of state for railways Surya Prakash Reddy, all Congress leaders, met Singh together to press for acceptance of their resignations. They decided not to attend office.

The Seemandhra region as also Hyderabad was reeling under a power crisis with employees of state's electricity generation, transmission and distribution companies on an indefinite strike since yesterday.

According to Power System Operation Corporation of Power Grid figures, as many as three transmission lines of 400 kv and another two lines of 400/220 kv had tripped due to the agitations in Seemandhra region.

The Cabinet sub-committee on employees issues held talks with the leaders of striking power employees but an immediate solution was not in sight. Chief minister N Kiran Reddy said the continuing power crisis is a matter of serious concern.

The strike has also forced cancellation of several trains. "The situation is under control and peaceful. It (curfew) is continuing. We will again study the situation and take appropriate action," DIG (Visakhapatnam Range) P Umapathi said about the prevailing law and order situation.

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