Centre rules out Prez rule in AP, power situation worsens

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New Delhi/Hyderabad, Oct 8: As protests continued in violence-hit Seemandhra region, the Centre on Tuesday ruled out imposition of President's rule in Andhra Pradesh and also indicated that ESMA may be clamped after power outages worsened disrupting essential services and transportation.

Talks between Electricity Employees' Joint Action Committee (JAC) and the state government to bring the ongoing indefinite strike to an end, meanwhile, proved inconclusive.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy is due to hold another round of talks with JAC in a bid to end the impasse after large parts of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema continued to reel under power crisis following the strike by electricity employees against the decision to bifurcate the state.

Shinde ruled out the possibility of imposing President's rule in AP.

According to reports, the power blackout has hit hospital services while airports in Seemandhra region were operating on backup systems. Train services were reported to be the worst hit forcing the East Coast Railway to either cancel or reschedule important trains.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde ruled out the possibility of imposing President's rule in AP in the wake of continuing protests in Seemandhra region on the Telangana statehood issue.

"There is no plan under consideration to impose President's rule in Andhra Pradesh. There was no such discussion in today's Cabinet (meeting)," he told reporters in Delhi.

The Home Minister said the widespread agitation in Seemandhra was a matter of grave concern to the Centre. He said the Centre fully respects the sentiments of the people of the region on this sensitive issue.

"I would like to assure the people of Seemandhra that the Government of India remains fully committed to address all their concerns," he said.

Referring to the prevailing situation in Seemandhra region, the Home Minister said government was trying to restore normalcy, especially in regard to the power situation.

Shinde indicated that the Essential Services Maintenance Act(ESMA) may be imposed to restore power situation in Seemandhra region and said the state government was talking to the stake holders on how to bring normalcy.

"State government is in talks with stake holders over ESMA," he said.

The power generation remained crippled at the major power stations including Vijayawada thermal power station and the Rayalaseema thermal power station, forcing the authorities to impose power cuts ranging between three and ten hours.

According to official sources, the total demand was 11,000 MW, while the supply was 7,500 MW.

PTI

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