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 R P N 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 M M 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.
Naidu accused Congress of playing politics in view of the Lok Sabha polls, but remained ambivalent on Telangana.
"They (Congress party) are treating Andhra Pradesh issue as the internal affair of the party. They are interested in politics, not governance or state or people. They are saying everything in terms of politics. Things are becoming worse day by day," Naidu told reporters in Delhi.
The indefinite fast in Andhra Pradesh by YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy in AP against the bifurcation of the state entered its third day.
Central paramilitary forces and state police were patrolling Kanyakaparameswari temple junction, Kothapeta, Dasannapeta, Gajularega, BC Colony, V K Agraharam and other parts of the town to prevent any fresh outbreak of violence.
Hardly 2,990 MW thermal power was produced as against the installed capacity of 6,090 MW. Similarly, power from the hydel generation stood at 1,694 MW against the installed capacity of 3,937 MW. Several gas-based power plants are also not functioning due to gas shortage.
Protests by the pro-united government employees, who are on strike since August 13, continued.
The Cabinet sub-committee on employees issues held talks with the leaders of striking employees today to resolve the deadlock. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy will meet the representatives of the agitating employees on Wednesday, State's Finance Minister A Ramanarayana Reddy told reporters.
The Chief Minister had yesterday asked employees of Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (APSPDCL) from the Seemadhra districts to call off the strike and resume duty considering the ongoing 'Brahmotsavams' at the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD).
The officials of the TTD too held discussions with the employees and power supply to Tirumala was subsequently restored.
The Chief Minister had also appealed to the striking employees of power generation, transmission and distribution companies to call off their stir.