The Opposition YSR Congress on Wednesday staged rail roko in various parts of Andhra Pradesh demanding special category status for the state. YSRC leaders and activists were taken into custody at many places as they squatted on rail tracks and blocked movement of trains, police said. The agitation was also to express solidarity with YSRC MPs, who submitted their resignations and launched an indefinite fast in New Delhi on April 6. While three of the fasting MPs have already been admitted to hospital as they fell ill, two others were removed to hospital this afternoon after their health condition was said to have deteriorated.
YSRC president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy spoke to MPs YS Avinash Reddy and P Mithun Reddy over phone and enquired about their health. A large posse of Railway Protection Force and Government Railway Police personnel were deployed at railway stations to prevent damage to public property and also prevent any untoward incidents.
In Guntakal, YSRC workers stopped the Karnataka express, while in Tirupati the Chennai express was blocked. At Renigunta, YSRC political affairs committee member Bhumana Karunakar Reddy and other workers were taken into custody. Activists blocked movement of the Circar express train for a few minutes at Samalkot railway station, police said.
In Vijayawada, MLA Rakshana Nidhi, former MLAs Malladi Vishnu, Jogi Ramesh and Velampalli Srinivas were taken into custody when they tried to stage rail roko. At Visakhapatnam too, YSRC workers conducted the agitation under the leadership of former legislator Malla Vijaya Prasad.
The departure of the Nandend-Tirupati special train was delayed for about half an hour as a result of the agitation. The rail-roko agitation was conducted in SPS Nellore and Kurnool districts as well. YSRC workers raised slogans demanding grant of special category status for Andhra Pradesh, saying it was the state’s right.