Around 66 cloth merchants and their staff members on Monday donated blood to Lions Blood Bank in protest against the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT). The day also witnessed Telugu Desam leader Buddha Venkanna and women offering solidarity to on-going the relay hunger strike by the merchants.

Cloth Merchants Association general secretary Bolisetty Satyanarayana blamed the Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy for spreading false news and requested the State government to heed to the demands of the merchants.

“We are taken aback by stubborn attitude of the government. If the increase in VAT is not scrapped we will intensify our agitation,” he warned.

Mr. Satyanarayana also said that Telugu Mahila volunteers will join the relay hunger strike on Tuesday.