Over four lakh employees in Seemandhra, as Rayalaseema and Andhra regions are collective known, are on strike, demanding the central government withdraw its decision to carve out separate Telangana state.
Over 12,000 buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) remained off the roads for the fifth consecutive day, paralyzing road transport in 13 districts.
Protestors opposing state's division took out rallies, staged road blockades and formed human chains at various places.
In Vijayawada, police arrested Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislator D.Umamaheswara Rao for launching indefinite fast. Police had denied permission for the fast in view of the model code of conduct already in force for by-elections to Avanigadda assembly constituency.
Protesting the police action, Rao is continuing the fast at the police station.
YSR Congress party honorary president Y.S. Vijayamma, who planned to launch indefinite fast at Vijayawada from Monday, has decided to shift her protest to Guntur.
In Hyderabad, tension prevailed at Vidyut Soudha, the headquarters of electricity departments, as the employees of Telangana and Seemandhra nearly came to blows once again.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao's daughter K. Kavitha and Telangana employees were stopped by police when they were heading to the office of the chairman and managing director of Andhra Pradesh Transmission Corporation to submit a memorandum.
Seemandhra employees in state secretariat and other offices in Hyderabad are also participating in the strike while their counterparts from Telangana are opposing the same, leading to a tense situation.
Meanwhile, lawyers in Seemandhra have decided to boycott the courts till Aug 30, to press their demand for keeping the state united.
--IANS (Posted on 17-08-2013)