Vijayawada: The bandh called on Thursday against the Union government was total across the state bringing normal life to standstill.
Political parties, student and trade unions and Muslim Youth Federation voluntarily joined the bandh called by the Left parties and received support of the YSRC, Jana Sena and the Congress.
Even the ruling TD across the state held protests to support its MPs ‘fighting for state interest in Parliament’.
As a mark of protest against the Centre, Penamalur MLA Bode Prasad got his head shaved.
TD state president Kala Venkat Rao participated in the protest in Guntur and was joined by MAUD minister P. Narayana.
The state government asked RTC to halt bus services and not a single bus plied. The government declared a holiday for the government schools to express solidarity indirectly. Commercial establishments and other private institutions remained shut voluntarily.
The mood across the state was against the BJP and the government led by it in the Centre in view of the ‘injustice’ done to the state. All parties warned the BJP and the Union government to rectify the situation or else protests would be intensified. For the first time there was active participation of the Jana Sena.
Schools and colleges rem-ained closed and security was beefed up to maintain law and order. Government offices reported a poor attendance and shops in various districts remained closed during the entire bandh period.
In Chittoor, all Opposition parties supported the bandh. Devotees faced trouble during the morning hours as there was no bus service.
In Srikakulam, Vizianaga-ram and Visakhapatnam, leaders of the CPI, CPM, Congress, YSRC and Jana Sena took out rallies.
YSRC chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy put on hold his Praja Sankalpa Yatra for a day on Thursday and participated in the bandh at Jolaguntapalli in the Atmakur constituency.
APCC president N. Raghu-veera Reddy thanked everyone for participating in the protest and making it a success.
CPI secretary K. Ramakrishna addressed protestors in Kurnool and thanked all for their active participation.
The bandh was total and peaceful in the three north Andhra district with schools and colleges also remaining closed. With no bus services, banks and government offices also were closed. Petrol bunks were partially closed.
In Rajahmundry and Kakinada districts, the bandh was total with no untoward incident.
Educational institutions, commercial establishments and government and private offices remained closed. In East Godavari, the RTC ran skeletal services from afternoon and the loss for the day was estimated at Rs 80 lakh. In West Godavari the loss was Rs 35 lakh. As many as 122 persons were taken into preventive custody and 14 cases were booked in West Godavari.
In Nellore and Prakasam districts, the bandh was peaceful and near total.
The bandh was peaceful in Guntur. Telugu Desam leaders also held protest marches. Kadapa, Kurnool and Anantapur also witnessed active participation all political parties in the bandh.
- Schools and colleges: As a precautionary measure, the government declared a holiday for schools and colleges. The Andhra University announced the suspension of classes to avoid inconvenience to students. Classes suspended at Visakhapatnam-based Andhra University and its affiliated colleges.
- Buses: Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation buses were off the road today except in Tirumala. Privates buses also did not ply, though inter-State ones did.
- Railways: The bandh did not affect train services.
- Private transport: Autorickshaws, lorries and trucks were off the road.
- There was voluntary shutdown of shops and hotels
- Government offices: Thin attendance was reported. This was also the case in PSUs like Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, Visakhapatnam Port Trust, National Thermal Power Corp and Hindustan Shipyard.
Naidu allows protests, pats Galla
Chief Minister N. Chandr-ababu Naidu, advised not to disturb protestors who are fighting for state interests against the union government.
While speaking at a teleconference from Dubai on Thursday with MPs, offici-als and party key leaders, he asked the TD cadre to hold protests in all constituencies in solidarity for the MPs fighting in Parliament.
He lauded the efforts of all MPs, especially Galla Jaya-dev, and asked them to continue with the same vigour until justice was done to the state.
Mr Naidu, who had gone to Dubai for a day to attract investments to the state, in a teleconference directed officials to take all measures to ensure peaceful protests and see that no mishaps took place, in view of the bandh.
He even gave instructions not to interfere with those making peaceful protests.
He said that it is the responsibility of everyone to protect the sentiments of the public and also it is everyone's responsibility to get justice for the state.
He also directed officials that the protests held across the state should be discussed across the nation.
Mr. Naidu also requested for real-time monitoring of places where the protests are being organized, in solidarity with the MPs fighting in Parliament.
Mr. Naidu directed MPs to even blame the YSRC, if the opportunity arises.
Mr. Naidu also gave instructions to expose the non-commitment of Jagan Mohan Reddy, who just participated in the protest with school children for a while and left for Hyderabad immediately, when Minister Pulla Rao intimated the same to Mr. Naidu.
He also said that the public shouldn’t be troubled, nor travelers from other places from the state, and water and food must be supplied to travelers who are being inconvenienced by the bandh....