Seemandhra shuts down to protest passing of Telangana bill
Normal life in Rayalaseema and coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh came to a halt Wednesday on a shutdown call by YSR Congress party to protest the manner in which the bill for formation of separate Telangana state was passed in Lok Sabha.
Shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed while buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) went off the roads in all 13 districts of Seemandhra, as the two regions are collectively called.
Terming the passage of Telangana bill in Lok Sabha 'murder of democracy', YSR Congress has called for the shutdown. Seemandhra leaders of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) also called for a general strike.
Activists of the two parties and others opposing state's bifurcation took to streets since early morning, laying siege to APSRTC depots and staging blockades on national and state highways.
Protestors shouted against the UPA government and burnt effigies of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The shutdown is total in Vijayawada, Guntur, Visakhapatnam, Ongole, Srikakulam, Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Nellore, Tirupati, Kadapa, Anantapur, Kurnool and other towns in Seemandhra.
Police tightened security across the region since Tuesday, when Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill was passed in Lok Sabha amid pandemonium. State police and central paramilitary forces were deployed to prevent any outbreak of violence.
Meanwhile, universities and other educational institutions in Seemandhra postponed various examinations in view of the shutdown.
(Posted on 19-02-2014)