Normal life was paralysed in Central Coastal Andhra Pradesh owing to the indefinite strike call given by Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) and the APSRTC employees from the early hours of Tuesday.
This turned out to be a virtual bandh call, as all RTC and private buses were off the road; shops and establishments were closed. Small and medium entrepreneurs in the Autonagar and Industrial Estate, restaurants and even small kiosks downed their shutters in support of Samaikyandhra.
Schools and some colleges declared a holiday on Tuesday. The busy Bandar and Eluru Road, which otherwise bustle with activities and shoppers, wore a deserted look at 11 a.m. The only people on the roads were security strike forces in their camouflaged overalls and the members of different joint action committees (JAC) who took out rallies in protest against the Congress Working Committee’s decision to bifurcate the State. The APNGOs took out a rally from PWD grounds and went on a Government Offices closing spree from 10.30 a.m.
Private vehicles were allowed to run and autorickshaws were seen plying.In some pockets, the transport system was virtually paralysed with the state-owned transport major APSRTC employees joining the strike.
“Our college actually wanted to function, but since APSRTC has joined the strike, the management declared a holiday,” said Ch. Avinash, a second-year B.Tech. student.
A senior citizen who was waiting for a public transport system at Benz Circle to go to his daughter’s house at Gandhinagar, remarked, “It is good that people are protesting against the bifurcation of the State. It’s expected of concerned citizens. But, what I see is that the agitation of ‘Samaikyanhdra Andhra’ (Unified Andhra) lacks ‘Samaikyam’ (unity). For the last one hour I have seen at least six JACs taking out rallies comprising of 150 to 200 members. Can’t they join together to form one big impactful group, the way TRS does.”
Machilipatnam Staff Reporter, T. Appala Naidu adds:
Vociferous protests were witnessed on Tuesday, amid tight security, on the streets of Krishna District headquarters town Machilipatnam against proposed carving out of Telangana. Mammoth gathering of protesters led by lawyers, merchants, political leaders and Government employees/workers spread the bandh to every nook and corner of the town.
Streets wore a deserted look as people from all walks of public life turned up at the Koneru Centre. A few women, largely rural folk supported the scheduled 24-hour bandh by engaging themselves in preparation of food on the roads as a part of their ‘Vanta-Vaarpu’ agitation.