The bandh called by the opposition parties on Thursday to protest against the steep hike in the price of diesel and cap on supply of subsidised LPG was peaceful and successful in the city.
Many schools declared holiday in advance and others had to close down due to poor turnout of students in the absence of autorickshaws. Shops downed their shutters voluntarily at many places.
Work in government offices was hampered as the attendance was thin and even those who reported took it easy as there were no visitors.
Autorickshaws were off the road on the National Highway right from the morning as the bandh enforcers deflated tyres of vehicles at some junctions. At some places, the bandh enforcers stopped private vehicles too.
Activists and leaders of the TDP and Left parties squatted on the road and stopped buses at Maddilapalem, resulting in some long- distance services remaining confined to the depot.
A scooter rally was organised jointly by the TDP, the CPI (M), and the CPI from Maddilapalem to RTC Complex and back. The rally passed through MVP Colony, Waltair, RTC Complex, and HB Colony.
Addressing the participants, CPI (M) city executive member R.K.S.V. Kumar said the Centre’s decision would cause an undue burden on the common man.
The increase in diesel price would have an impact on the prices of essential commodities. Limiting the number of gas cylinders to six a year would be a blow to the middle class section, he said.
CPI district council secretary J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy and party leaders M. Pydiraju, Padala Ramana, and Vamana Murthy, TDP leaders Pothana Reddy and Botta Venkata Ramana, CPI and CPI (M) leaders B. Jagan and A. Appa Rao participated.
A rally was organised from Allipuram junction to Jagadamba junction by the CPI and the Visakha Zilla Bhavana Nirmana Karmika Sangham (AITUC). The rally concluded in a human chain at Jagadamba junction.
Mr. Satyanarayana Murthy, Mr. Pydiraju, AP Mahila Samakhya district secretary A. Vimala, Bhavan Karmika Sangham leader Kota Sattibabu, and CPI leaders S. Murali and G. Kasulareddy were among those who attended.
A rally was taken out by the YSR Congress Party activists from Dolphin Hotel junction to Ambedkar statue junction via Dabagardens. YSRCP city convener Vamsikrishna Yadav demanded rollback of the hike in diesel price and continuation of subsidy on gas cylinders.
Visakha Steel Employees’ Congress (VSEC) too sought rollback of the hike in diesel price and continuation of subsidy on gas cylinders. In a statement issued on Thursday, VSEC general secretary said that there should be no restrictions on the supply of gas cylinders for domestic purpose. Several protesting opposition leaders and workers were arrested in Gajuwaka. Among those arrested on the National Highway at Old Gajuwaka were TDP district general secretary Kona Tata Rao, former corporator A.J. Stalin, and Rajendra Prasad, and Subba Rao of the CPI (M). Right from 5 a.m. the agitating workers stopped buses at Gajuwaka and Kurmannapalem RTC depots. Mr. Tata Rao, in a statement, said that various shops, commercial establishments, bullion and cloth merchants cooperated to make the bandh a success.
AP Lorry Owners’ Association State vice-president M. Janakiram Reddy reiterated the demand of the All India Motor Transport Congress to rollback the hike by October 5 failing which a nationwide strike would be observed the next day.
Police said a case was registered against eight persons at New Gajuwaka for shattering the glasses of an RTC bus of Gajuwaka depot. Three of them were arrested and five are at large.
Keywords: Bharat bandh