State-wide ‘Bandh’ called in Andhra demanding special status, CM Naidu wears black Shirt in solidarity

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A state-wide bandh was observed by various organisations in Andhra Pradesh on Friday, demanding that the Centre immediately provide special category status to the state and to fulfil the promises made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.

Apart from the bandh,  a protest programme sponsored by the ruling Telugu Desam Party over the issue was also staged. The bandh and protest by and large did not affect normal life, though bus services were partially hits.

State Road Transport Corporation workers too joined the agitation in some districts, partially affecting bus services. No untoward incident has been reported as the protests were continuing in a peaceful manner, a senior police official said.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu shed his trademark light gold coloured outfit as he came to the assembly clad in a black shirt and white trouser while other TDP legislators wore black shirts in protest against the Centre’s “apathetic attitude” towards the state.

In Vijayawada, TDP, Congress and Left parties’ leaders staged a demonstration in front of the RTC bus station, raising slogans against the Narendra Modi government and blocking movement of buses. Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president N Raghuveera Reddy and Pratyeka Hoda Sadhana Samiti leader Chalasani Srinivas led the protest.

Educational institutions were closed in many towns while practical examinations for Intermediate students scheduled for the day were postponed reportedly.

The main opposition YSR Congress and the Jana Sena Party stayed away from the protest programme.

The chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced that the state-wide protests would continue till February 10.

A “dharma porattam” (just fight) would be undertaken in New Delhi from February 11 to 14 and a memorandum would be submitted to the President on the issue, he said.

“We will then go to the people and fight it out in the people’s court,” Naidu told his party leaders during his daily teleconference to TDP Leaders.  Earlier, TDP Chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said February 1, the day the central government will present the budget in Parliament, will be a “black day” for the state and called for protests.

The demand to grant special Status to Andhra Pradesh surfaced after the bifurcation of the state into Two Parts that carved out Telangana, the youngest state of the nation in 2014. Andhra Pradesh’s capital, Hyderabad, was also shifted to Telangana after bifurcation in 2014.

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