Bandh in Andhra over special status demand

bandhThe bandh called by CPI and various groups in support of giving special status to AP as promised during bifurcation last year began across the state today.

In addition to CPI workers, activists of Congress, YSR Congress and other Opposition parties, who extended support to the bandh, held rallies and other forms of protest at different places in the state.

They charged the NDA government at the Centre with going back on its election promise of special status to AP and the TDP government in the state of not doing enough to realise the promise.

The buses of the state-run Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) were largely confined to the depots at several towns in the state.

Schools, colleges and commercial establishments, including petrol stations, have been closed at some places.

Police made extensive arrangements to ensure that no untoward incident takes place and policemen were maintaining vigil on important roads in different towns.

The promise of special status was made to Seemandhra (new Andhra Pradesh) by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Parliament during state bifurcation last year.

The opposition parties alleged that BJP and TDP, who share power at the Centre and AP, have gone back on the promise since they came to power one year ago.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had extended support to the special status issue during his recent tour of Andhra Pradesh.

The special status promise to AP took an emotional turn with a 40-year-old man, said to be a Congress worker, attempting self-immolation at a public meeting organised by the party on Saturday last in Tirupati. He later succumbed to the serious burns he sustained in the incident.

The main Opposition YSR Congress, which held a protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi yesterday seeking special status, called for a bandh separately on August 28.