Nation Politics 28 Sep 2021 Gulab-led heavy rain ...

Gulab-led heavy rain dampens protests, Bharat Bandh peaceful in AP

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DC CORRESPONDENT
Published Sep 28, 2021, 8:25 am IST
Updated Sep 28, 2021, 8:43 am IST
The main opposition TD and Congress and the Left parties supported the bandh
All party workers block a road as part of Bharat bandh, even while it was raining under the impact of Cyclone Gulab at Kunavaram in East Godavari district on Monday. — DC Image/A. Manikanta Kumar
 All party workers block a road as part of Bharat bandh, even while it was raining under the impact of Cyclone Gulab at Kunavaram in East Godavari district on Monday. — DC Image/A. Manikanta Kumar

VIJAYAWADA: The heavy rain due to the Gulab cyclone dampened the spirit of Bharat Bandh activists in Andhra Pradesh, but the protest was peaceful. RTC bus services remained suspended for half the day and educational institutions observed a holiday on Monday.

Activists of the Telugu Desam, the Congress, the Communist parties and other organisations staged protests in several areas, seeking repeal of three new agriculture laws. The ruling YSR Congress too supported the Bharat Bandh call. All the parties except the BJP and their alliance political parties extended support to the nationwide bandh.

 

The 10-hour observation of the bandh was in response to a call given by farmers protesting against the Union Government's new agriculture laws, and held under the aegis of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM). The main opposition TD and Congress and the Left parties supported the bandh. However, the activities planned for the bandh could not be carried out successfully due to the heavy downpour.

Braving rainfall, leaders and activists of the farmer associations and political parties held rallies raising slogans, displaying placards and carrying huge banners against the agriculture laws.

 

Congress state president Sake Sailajanath said the BJP was implementing anti-farmer, anti-worker, anti-people reforms, and pleaded that the central government withdraw the three agriculture laws. These leaders staged the protests in front of bus stations in Vijayawada and Guntur.

The YSR Congress farmers wing state president MVS Nagi Reddy said the YSRC believed that “if the farmer prospers, the state and the nation will prosper.”

Participants of the Bharath Bandh squatted in front of the bus stations for some time. The APSRTC cancelled all its bus services in the state due to the bandh, till 1pm. The absence of RTC buses created inconvenience to emergency travelers for the first part of the day. The RTC restored its services for the second part of the day. Taxis, cars and auto-rickshaws were off the roads while shops, stores, hotels and major business establishments remained shut till the evening due to the Gulab rain.

 

The activists took out a procession from Kotagummam Centre to Kotipalli Bus Stand in Rajamahendravaram. The all-party JAC took out a bike rally from Bhanugudi Junction at Kakinada. In Nellore and Prakasam districts, normal life was affected due to cancellation of RTC buses. They were off the roads till 1pm. The protestors blocked the roads from Kavali, Nellore, Sullurpet, Venkatagiri, Gudur and other places. Rallies were held at Ongole and Nellore. Hundreds of vehicles were stranded on the Mumbai National Highway at Buchireddypalem and Marripadu as the protesters blocked the road.

 

The bandh evoked lukewarm response in temple city Tirupati and other parts of Chittoor district. APSRTC’s Tirupati and Chittoor region depots resumed bus services by afternoon, while the services between Tirumala and Tirupati remained undisturbed through the day.

In Kadapa, under the auspices of the Andhra Pradesh Farmers' Association, farmers burnt the effigy of Prime Minister Modi in a tractor procession from Palempalle in Kadapa city to Kotireddy Circle. At Kotireddy Circle, vegetables were piled up and a three-headed effigy of “Modi, Ambani and Adani” was burnt.

 

The general secretary of the district farmers' association, Gali Chandra, was injured in a scuffle between the police and leaders of the farmers’ association.

The Bharat Bandh got full response in Kurnool district and it concluded peacefully. The RTC buses and private means of transport were off the roads for a while, but resumed in the afternoon. Activists from various political parties held rallies, rasta roko and dharnas across the district.

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