Protest rallies, dharnas and human chains marked the day in several districts of Rayalaseema and Andhra regions which observed bandh on Friday against bifurcation and made a vociferous demand to keep the State united.
While the bandh organised under the aegis of Samaikhyandhra Joint Action Committee in the backdrop of Congress party’s Core Committee meeting to resolve Telangana issue was total in districts like Anantapur, Kadapa, Krishna, Guntur and Rajahmundry, it evoked mixed response in Visakhapatnam. There was participation of students, youth, traders, advocates and people from various walks of life in several districts.
In Visakhapatnam, though the educational institutions declared a holiday, the business establishments, barring for a few hours, and banks functioned normally and RTC and private buses, autorickshaws moved freely. The JAC leaders burnt an effigy of the Centre and held up traffic for sometime near Peda Waltair-Siripuram road and a dharna was staged in the Andhra University premises.
Educational institutions closed voluntarily and business establishments downed their shutters. The APSRTC and private buses too kept off the roads in many districts in support of the bandh.
The impact was most visible in Anantapur where both APSRTC and private buses kept off the roads across the district. The professors and ancillary teaching staff of Sri Krishnadevaraya University started relay hunger strikes in support of united Andhra Pradesh.
In Kadapa, Students JAC leader T. Lakshminarayana and Rajampet Bar Association president K. Sarat Kumar Raju said the attempts to bifurcate the State and divide Rayalaseema would be resisted.
In Nellore, huge rally was taken out by the activists of Samaikhyandhra JAC and slogans rent the air against division of the State. The JAC leaders declared that the agitation would be intensified if there was any attempt to divide the State at any level.