People's Forum, Supported By Opposition Shut Down Andhra Pradesh Over Special Category Demand

| April 16 , 2018 , 08:45 IST

As the demands for a Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh continue, a people's forum launched a state-wide bandh on Monday early morning, supported by the state's Opposition parties.

The Andhra Pradesh Pratyeka Hoda Saadhana Samiti called for the state-wide bandh, pressing its demand for a Special Category Status for the state as had been promised at the time of bifurcation.

While Opposition parties such as the YSR Congress Party, Congress and Left Parties extended support for the bandh, the ruling TDP opposed the bandh.

Shops and establishments were closed in the city as trade unions such as the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Trade Unions Council (AITUC), YSR TUC expressed their support to the bandh. In view of the state-wide bandh, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses will operate only till Andhra Pradesh state border.

TDP head and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu expressed that bandhs were not welcome as they hamper development.

ALSO READ: YSR Congress Leaders To Hold Hunger Strike Over Special Category Status For Andhra Pradesh Demand

The YSR Congress slammed CM Naidu for opposing the bandh, accusing him of adopting 'double standards'.

"When Naidu was the opposition leader, he had called for bandhs on many occasions, but as a Chief Minister he is now opposing them (bandhs), saying they hinder development," YSRC political affairs committee member Ambati Rambabu said.

Rambabu added that CM Naidu should understand that the bandh was a form of democratic protest and he had no right to oppose it.

He alleged that the state government had been issuing notices to those supporting the bandh, saying cases would be booked against them.

"Why this intimidation? As long as they are peaceful, we will continue all forms of democratic protests," Rambabu said.

ALSO READ: Andhra Pradesh Special Category Protests: CM Naidu Pulls 2 TDP Ministers From Central Govt

Meanwhile, CM Chandrababu Naidu has said that he would be observing a day-long hunger strike on his birthday, April 20, in protest against the Centre's non-cooperation towards the state

Protests demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh gained speed after there was no mention of a special package for the state in the Union Budget. Subsequently, TDP withdrew 2 ministers from the union cabinet and pulled out from the NDA coalition altogether. At the end of the Budget Session of Parliament, 5 YSR Congress MPs submitted their resignation as well after the Parliament session ended without any special package for the state.