Shutdown continues in Seemandhra for second day

Hyderabad, Dec 7 : Shutdown continued for the second day Saturday in Rayalaseema and coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh against the central government's decision to bifurcate the state by carving out separate Telangana state.

Shops, business establishments, educational institutions and government offices remained closed, while buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) were off the roads in all 13 districts of Seemandhra, as the two regions are collectively called.

Though YSR Congress party and Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers' (APNGOs) Association had called for shutdown Friday, people continued it voluntarily for the second day.

APSRTC buses in Seemandhra remained confined to the depots for the second consecutive day, causing inconvenience to commuters.

Doctors and other medical staff in government-run King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam also joined the strike. They were boycotting all but emergency services.

Students, government employees and people from other walks of life took to streets in Seemandhra, demanding the central government to keep the state united. Raising slogans of 'Jai samaikyandhra', they burnt effigies of the government and top Congress leaders.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) activists took out a bike rally in Anantapur to protest the 'unilateral' decision of the centre. TDP also organized a rally in Chirala town of Prakasam district.

Tension prevailed in temple town of Tirupati as police stopped TDP workers from staging a road blockade near bus station.

The union cabinet Thursday approved draft Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill to carve out Telangana state. The bill was sent to President Pranab Mukherjee Friday with a request to refer the same to Andhra Pradesh assembly under Article 3 of the Constitution of India.

The president is likely to send the bill to the assembly next week and ask it to return the same with its comments in a prescribed time. The bill will again come before the union cabinet, which will give it a final shape before introducing it in the parliament.

There is still no clarity if the bill would come up during the ongoing winter session. Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh said if the bill could not be tabled during the current session, a special session may be convened later.

--IANS (Posted on 07-12-2013)

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