Vijayawada: People in Vijayawada voluntarily participated in the bandh called by the Left parties in protest against the poor allocation of funds by the Centre to the state in the Union budget on Thursday.
RTC buses went off the road while educational institutions declared holiday. The leaders and activists of the Left parties, YSR Congress, Congress, Jana Sena participated in the protests.
The cadre of the ruling TD, along with the ministers, also took out protest rallies. However, there are no reports of any arrests.
With people voluntarily participating in the bandh, none of them complained about the hardships due to it. Instead, they said bandh was necessary. G. Sandeep, a student waiting at a bus stop in the city, said, "I may have to wait for a long time but it is not a problem. This bandh has to be done. Else, the authorities in Delhi will not care about us."
Purushottam, a private employee, said, "The central government should know that people in AP are angry. They are cheating us by not releasing the promised funds. We have to fight though the bandh might cause trouble."
K. Padmavati, a homemaker, said: "Bandh should be done. What did they promise and what are they doing? How can the state develop without funds?"
All the shops remained closed, except in some remote areas. Usually, the organisers enforce bandh but this time, people voluntarily closed the shops.
Police treated bandh as an official protest and focused only on preventing damage to public property.
The leaders of Left parties took to the streets early this morning and squatted at the bus station but with the RTC deciding not to run the bus services, they focused on protest rallies.
By afternoon, all the TD leaders, including ministers, came on to the roads.
Ministers Kollu Ravindra, Nakka Ananadababu, and P.Narayana participated in protests at different places in Vijayawada.
Bode Prasad, MLA of Penamaluru, got his head tonsured in protest against the attitude of the central government. Jana Sena cadre protested by standing on the knees under the leadership of Potina Mahesh. Devineni Avinash and Devineni Chandrasekhar too led protest rallies.