The bandh called by YSR Congress Party in Andhra Pradesh to protest against the Centre’s refusal to grant special category status to the state was partially successful. Several towns in the 13 districts of the state observed the bandh in the morning, but life returned to normalcy by the afternoon. In the morning, members of YSRCP, Congress and Left parties stopped state transport vehicles in bus depots and forced shops and business establishments to down shutters. Educational institutions had declared a holiday.
Supporters of the Opposition parties demonstrated outside the State Transport Corporation bus depots and did not let buses ply. Dozens of protesters were detained in Vijayawada, Vizag, Tirupati and Guntur.
The YSRCP claimed that the shutdown was total in Vijayawada.
Party MLA B Karunakar Reddy was detained in Tirupati. Tension prevailed in the area after some Left supporters tried to hold a mock funeral of PM Narendra Modi.
Congress workers staged a dharna on the Bengaluru highway in Kurnool district. The demonstration was led by state Congress chief N Raghuveera Reddy.
YSRCP chief and Leader of Opposition
Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy said: “People have voluntarily participated in the bandh and rejected the stand of BJP and TDP on the special category status. We will go to any extent to achieve the goal and it is not just stalling the assembly but we will also confront Chief Minister to achieve the goal.”
“CM Chandrababu Naidu has compromised the state’s interests in a bid to wriggle out of the cash-for-vote case. He has been trying to underplay the importance of special status by saying that northeastern states saw no development despite being granted special status. This is highly condemnable,” said Jagan. He thanked all parties, social organisations and people for making the bandh “successful”.
Meanwhile, the three-day Monsoon Session of Andhra Pradesh Assembly ended abruptly on Saturday after YSRCP members created ruckus over the special category status issue.
The House passed a resolution referring the unruly acts of the YSRCP MLAs in the last three days to the Privilege Committee for “necessary action”.
Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao then adjourned the House sine die as it could not take up any listed business because of the ruckus.
(With PTI inputs)