The shutdown called by the YSR Congress party and another group fighting for united Andhra Pradesh evoked total response in all 13 districts of Seemandhra, as the two regions are together called. (Agencies)
Buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) remained off the roads while shops, business establishments and educational institutions were closed. Activists of the YSR Congress and Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) Association took to streets to protest the Central fovernment’s action of tabling the bill in Parliament despite a strong opposition from MPs belonging to Seemandhra.
Raising slogans against the UPA government and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the protesters staged road blockades at several places. The bill to carve out separate Telangana state was tabled in the Lok Sabha amid unprecedented ruckus on Thursday.
L Rajagopal, a Lok Sabha member from Seemandhra, used pepper spray and a scuffle also broke out between MPs of the two regions. The Lok Sabha speaker suspended 16 MPs, including YSR Congress president YS Jaganmohan Reddy, for their involvement in the unruly, noisy incidents.
Jagan, as the MP from Kadapa is popularly known, called for the shutdown to protest what he calls the mockery of democracy.
‘Samaikyandhra parirakshana vedika’ or ‘Save United Andhra’ front has also called for shutdown in Seemandhra to condemn what it alleged was an attack on state MPs by the lawmakers from other states.
The strike by government employees in Seemandhra continued for the ninth day on Friday to protest the proposed bifurcation of the state.
Meanwhile, Central Minister JD Seelam had to face the ire of the protestors in Krishna district. Seelam, who was going to West Godavari district, was stopped by the protestors near Hanuman Junction. A protestor threw broom on the minister's car. Police used mild force to disperse the mob to provide safe passage to the convoy.
The shutdown called by the YSR Congress party and another group fighting for united Andhra Pradesh evoked total response in all 13 districts of Seemandhra, as the two regions are together called.