State shuts down for special status

The bandh called by the Opposition parties in support of the demand for Special Category Status (SCS) to the State, was peaceful across the State on Monday.

In Chittoor town, YSR Congress Party cadres and Left parties led the stir by hitting the road from early hours. Traffic at the tri-State Kuppam junction was paralysed till afternoon.

Interestingly, Rider, a German tourist who arrived at Varadaiahpalem mandal headquarters to reach the nearby Kalki Bhagawan Ashram, joined the stir and squatted on the Tada road along with the YSRCP activists. Holding the party flag, he raised slogans for the SCS. He said that he would tweet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help out the State.

The bandh turned out to be total and largely peaceful in the temple city of Tirupati.

Bike set afire

Members of the YSRCP, Left parties and the Jana Sena gathered at dawn at Ambedkar Circle at RTC junction and prevented buses from coming out of the station. Even as the policemen were trying to restrain the mob, some miscreants went on the rampage and set a motorcycle afire at the RTC central bus station’s eastern entrance.

Passengers and pilgrims, especially from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, were caught unawares and hence were the worst hit.

While schools and colleges had announced a holiday, most commercial establishments volunteered to shut down expressing support to the agitation.

The bandh was near total in several parts of East Godavari district with leaders of Left parties, Jana Sena, Congress and YSRCP actively participating in protests. Journalists under the banner of the APUWJ took part in the protest.

In Kakinada, protesters gathered outside the Collectorate and staged a demonstration. They raised slogans against the Prime Minister and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Skit by Arunodaya

The bandh call evoked good response in Prakasam district. Activists of Arunodaya cultural wing of CPI(ML) New Democracy, staged a skit to expose ‘the double standards’ of the ruling BJP at the Centre and the TDP in the State.

Leaders and activists took to innovative ways to express their protest as part of the all-party bandh which evoked good response in Nellore district

Some played cricket while others undertook ‘vanta vaarpu’ to express their protest against the Central government for not fulfilling the main bifurcation promise of granting SCS. Jana Sena Party and Left parties’ leaders also organised rallies and staged dharnas.

The bandh passed off peacefully without any untoward incidents and was near total in Kurnool and Kadapa districts.

The APSRTC buses were confined to the depots. The leaders of the Opposition parties enforcing the bandh warned that the BJP would go into political oblivion in the southern States if they betrayed the interests of Telugu people.

In Kadapa, Mayor K. Suresh Babu, CPI(M) secretary K. Anjaneyulu, CPI city secretary N. Venkatasiva, Congress leader B. Jakraiah and others staged a demonstration at the RTC bus stand preventing movement of buses.

Highway blocked

Normal life was thrown out of gear in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts with the disruption of traffic on the national highway.

A protest was held at the BSNL office and RTC complex at Srikakulam by the Congress and YSRCP respectively.

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