Shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed in response to the shutdown called by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in all 13 districts of Seemandhra, as the two regions are together called.

Protestors took to streets in various districts and stopped buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) and private vehicles. The TDP has called the strike on a day when the deadline for the state legislature to send its opinion on the Telangana Bill is coming to an end.

Holding party flags and raising slogans of ‘Jai samaikyandhra’ or united Andhra, TDP activists staged sit-in outside APSRTC depots since early morning to stop buses from coming out. The protestors also staged road blockades, affecting the movement of vehicles.

The police arrested dozens of TDP workers at various places for blocking the traffic and for forcing closure of shops. The shutdown hit normal life in Vijayawada, Guntur, Tirupati, Kurnool, Anantapur and other towns. There was not much of impact in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam.

Seemandhra legislators of TDP staged a sit-in at the statue of Ambedkar in Assembly premises to support the shutdown. TDP leader D Umamaheswara Rao claimed that the shutdown was total and people were voluntarily participating in it. He said that this was a proof that people oppose division of the state.

(Agencies)

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