Andhra Pradesh sees shutdown, NGOs cold to bandh

Deccan Chronicle.  | Eswar Chennupalli

Nation, Current Affairs

AP NGOs had played a key role in the bifurcation movement, expressing their objection to the bifurcation.

AP Non-Gazetted Officers Association president Ashok Babu.

Vijayawada: APNGOs who were active during bifurcation and are now maintaining silence, have now become a topic of discussion.

While the entire state participated in the bandh to safeguard state interests, along with the ruling TD halting RTC services and closing government schools and colleges, AP NGOs didn’t react at all— even those who still are active in many other issues post-bifurcation to protect the state’s interests.

As AP NGOs hadn’t received any instructions from the state government, they decided not to get involved in the bandh, and also wanted to know the government’s stand on the protests.

AP NGO’s Ashok Babu said that it is the responsibility of political parties to protect state interests and has nothing to do with AP NGOs and if they failed then ‘we shall look forward to supporting’.

AP NGOs earlier used to fight for employees’ issues, protecting their rights and welfare. They never compromised on these issues. The state government was pressurised by NGOs to convince them or fulfil their demands for their strike notices. The governments have tried to maintain cordial relations with AP NGOs.

But the situation has changed ever since the bifurcation of the state. Even, NGOs extended their support and protested against the bifurcation of the state to protect state interests and this has always been in the forefront.

AP NGOs had played a key role in the bifurcation movement, expressing their objection to the bifurcation.

At an AP NGOs meeting, on September 17, 2013, in the name of ‘Save AP’, the shape of the bifurcation moment changed. AP NGOs president, Ashok Babu, gained popularity at their meetings across the state.

Later, it maintained cordial relations with the ruling TD as they felt the necessity of its support to the state in its development.

AP NGOs have been playing a key role even in state formation day programmes of Nava Nirmana Deeksha.

AP NGOs president Ashok Babu’s comment in recent Nava Nirmana Deesksha conclusion programme at Kakinada TD should come into reign again Mr Naidu should be the chief minister had paved way for many controversies. There are even speculations that AP NGO members will be offered MLC and government positions which are still under pending.

At this juncture, AP NGOs non-participation in the state bandh held on Thursday had drawn the attention of the state, as all other organisations which participated in the bifurcation movement also participated in the state bandh.

An NGO leader said, “We are skeptical of the commitment of the government and they don’t  seem to quit their alliance or sincerely protect state interests but are trying to safeguard their personal and political benefits.”

AP NGOs general secretary A. Sagar added, “the entire state is in distress with the Union Budget’s poor allocations to the state and AP NGOs support will always be with the political parties who strive hard for the benefits of the state safeguarding its interests.