AP employees give a jolt to Ashok Babu, unions split to form rival JAC

Amaravati: The government employees in Andhra Pradesh have given a jolt to the APNGOs leader P Ashok Babu, by forming a rival Joint Action Committee headed by Bopparaju Venkateswarlu, at Tirupathi.

Ashok Babu became very popular during the Samaikyandhra agitation before the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. He led the movement with all government employees, youth, students and work force in the 13 districts of Seemandhra backing him. Backed by the then Chief Minister N Kirankumar Reddy, the APNGOs leader became champion of the Seemandhra during that period and he enjoyed the support of all government employees unions.

The Samaikyandhra movement is a thing of the past now and the JAC headed by him, according to his rivals, had failed to address the issues of the government employees. A large section of the government employees are opposed to move out of Hyderabad to Amaravati even as they have 10 years to stay in the common capital. They have been arguing that the AP government had spent a few hundreds of crores of rupees on renovation of the Secretariat buildings in Hyderabad and there was no need for them to go to Amaravati where no buildings are available for offices.

The employees, after several rounds of talks with the government and getting special sops for them, including 43 per cent fitment and five-day week, have moved out of Hyderabad. The dissident leaders have been finding fault with Ashok Babu for neglecting several unions. The first was the APSRTC unions to oppose or criticise Ashok Babu’s style of functioning. Later on, the unions of municipal employees, libraries and the aided teachers took the NGOs leader to target for not addressing their issues nor even representing their issues in the meetings with the Chief Minister.

The pensioners have loads of complaints against Ashok Babu, while the municipal and libraries employees have blamed him for not lifting the 010 head for salaries. The government doctors too have joined the list to oppose Ashok Babu as they have been subject to regular digital monitoring by the government while on duty.

The rivals, with a representation from 74 government employees unions have unanimously elected AP Revenue Association president Bopparaju Venkateswarlu as chairman of the new JAC. The leaders said that they would tour all the 13 districts and explain the issues that have led to the split. Ashok Babu, who is in the midst of seeking his re-election as APNGO Association president later this month, will be set for a big trouble if the splinter JAC gets the support of the other unions.

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