Normal life came to a standstill in Andhra Pradesh on Monday as the day-long shutdown called in demand for the special status category to the state evoked near total response.
Shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed, while buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) went off the roads in all 13 districts.
The shutdown has been called by Pratyeka Hoda Sadhana Samithi (The people’s forum to fight for special status) and is being backed by opposition YSR Congress party, the Left parties, Congress and Jana Sena.
The ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which has been fighting for the special status and implementation of the provisions of AP Reorganisation Act, is not participating in the shutdown.
Leaders and activists of all opposition parties, barring Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), staged protest demonstrations across the state.
They took to the streets since early morning, raising slogans against the Centre for going back on the promise to grant special status and fulfil all other commitments made at the time of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014.
The protestors staged road blockades and laid siege to APSRTC depots to prevent buses from coming out. The bus services came to a total halt in all three regions – north and south coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema.
Protests were held at bus stations in Vijayawada, Guntur, Tirupati, Visakhapatnam and other towns across the state. Police arrested leaders of opposition parties at a few places.
Sadhna Samithi Chalasani Srinivas said the ‘bandh’ was in protest against the Narendra Modi government’s refusal to grant special status.
Source: Economic Times