Fasting party leaders keep a bottle of petrol, threatening to immolate themselves if their fast is foiled

District TDP (Rural) president and MLA G. Rama Naidu and former corporator Gudivada Amarnath continued their indefinite fast behind locked doors at the TDP office at Ramnagar

After police made an attempt to arrest and shift them to hospital on the fourth day of their fast at GVMC on Wednesday night, they reached the party office and continued the fast. The MLA had symptoms of jaundice and the sugar levels of Mr Amarnath fell, it was learnt.

They would resist any attempt to foil their fast and kept a bottle of petrol to immolate themselves, Mr. Rama Naidu said.

Their fast was for keeping the State united and lakhs of people were agitating in various modes, transportation came to a halt, students were losing classes and people from all walks of life were voluntarily participating in it in spite of their day-to-day problems like price rise etc., Mr. Rama Naidu said. He appealed to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to heed the wish of seven crore people and keep the State united.

On whether he had spoken to the party leadership, he said the movement had nothing to do with parties and now was totally in the hands of people.

TDP leaders from Gajuwaka and Bhimili reached the party office in support of the fasting leaders. Among them were former MLA RSDPA Narasimha Raju and Harshvardhan Prasad. Mr. Naidu’s wife Sailaja and Mr. Amarnath’s wife Himagowri are anxiously waiting outside the locked party office along with other party workers.

Groundswell of support

Meanwhile, the Samaikhyandhra agitation has grown into a major people’s movement with the involvement of all sections of people. Men, women and students have taken to the streets in their own way and are organising rallies, protests and hunger strikes to express their ire at the bifurcation decision of the Centre and the ‘inflammatory’ remarks by KCR and other leaders from Telangana region. These remarks have caused apprehensions among people of Seemandhra about the safety of their kin living in Hyderabad.

Those who are not directly involved in the protest are also empathising with the cause.

Motorists have got used to the ‘on and off’ traffic disruption and are taking alternative routes on their own to reach their destinations. Many are thankful that the protesters, by and large, are not resorting to violence.

Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao and MLA s Panchakarla Ramesh Babu and Chintalapudi Venkataramaih visited the relay hunger camp by lawyers of the Visakhapatnam Bar and expressed solidarity. Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that he was prepared to go against the party leadership, if required, for keeping the State united.

Bheemunipatnam MLA M. Srinivasa Rao participated in a huge rally from the Ambedkar centre to the National Highway in which over 1,000 people took part. Later, he visited the protest held at Tagarapuvalasa junction. He said that he would launch a hunger strike from August 25 against bifurcation of the state.

Samaikhyandhra Political JAC activists staged a protest at Seven Hills Hospitals junction on Thursday. JAC convener JT Rama Rao demanded that Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu take back the letter he had given to the Centre agreeing to the bifurcation, failing which he would not be allowed to take out his proposed ‘atma gourava yatra’ in north Andhra.

Autorickshaw drivers, under the auspices of AITCU, took out a rally from the GVMC statue to Jagadamba junction to protest against bifurcation.

They formed a human chain at Jagadamba junction and held up traffic.

A huge rally was taken out by government and private doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, medical students, junior doctors and others from the Fort to Ganta Sthambam junction in Vizianagaram on Thursday to protest against bifurcation.

AP Government Doctor’s Association State secretary Pidakala Shyam Sundar led the rally in which doctors from the city D.S. Chakravarthi, Babji Shyam Kumar and B. Rama Rao participated.

Dr. Shyam Sundar said that a rally would be held by doctors from the RIMS Medical College in Srikakulam district at 10:30 a.m. He appealed all sections to participate in the strike to exert pressure on the Centre to reverse its decision on Telangana.

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