Hyderabad: Pro-united Andhra employees and others on Monday burnt copies of the draft Telangana bill in traditional Sankranti bonfire at different places in Seemandhra as a mark of protest against division of Andhra Pradesh.
The Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) association president P. Ashok Babu led the protest at Ongole in Prakasam district.
Noting that division would not have much impact on politicians as they can continue to carry on with political activity normally, he said bifurcation would adversely impact students and employees from Seemandhra regions.
Similar protests were organised at different places in the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.
TDP legislator Dasari Bala Vardhana Rao, the party's farmers' wing leader and members of APNGOs association participated in the protest at Hanuman junction on Vijayawada- Visakhapatnam national highway in Krishna district where they burnt copies of the draft bill and raised slogans against the bifurcation of the state.
The united AP supporters also gathered at Gudiwada in the district and protested against the bill while raising slogans in favour of 'Samaikyandhra' (united Andhra). The burning of the copies of draft Telangana bill is part of a programme of protests called by the APNGOs.
A bandh would be organised on January 17 and 18. The draft Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill-2013 is presently being debated in the state legislature, which is on a break for the three-day Sankranti festival.
Telangana leaders, however, took exception to the burning of copies of the draft bill, saying that it amounted to insulting venerable institutions.
Meanwhile, 'bhogi', the first day of the three-day Sankranti festival, was celebrated with traditional gaiety in the state on Monday.
The traditional 'bhogi' bonfires were lit at open places early in the morning near homes and road junctions. However, many others would celebrate 'bhogi' tomorrow as different days (either today or tomorrow) were given in different calenders....