People of Seemandhra totally against bifurcation: Minister

The work at Gangavaram Port was stalled for nearly eight hours on Thursday following a dharna staged by Samaikyandhra supporters at the main gate under the leadership of Minister for Investment, Infrastructure, Ports and Airports Ganta Srinivasa Rao.

This was for the first time that the work of a private port was brought to a grinding halt due to a protest led by a Minister. The management of the port later said that on a request by the Minister and the protesters, they suspended the first shift work. Cargo handling operations resumed from second shift in the post-lunch session.

The cargo handling operations was totally stopped at Visakhapatnam Port due to one-day strike observed by the users, including stevedores, steamer and customs house agents and crane operators and others on Monday.

“We went and requested them to express their solidarity like the Visakhapatnam Port users and they obliged immediately,” Mr. Srinivasa Rao told The Hindu. He said as part of their decision to intensify the agitation in support of Samaikyandhra, they would enforce bandh in various industries. The Minister declared that they would continue their agitation till the Centre shelved the proposal to carve out a State of Telangana.

The protest at Gangavaram Port, a private port owned by D.V.S. Raju-led consortium, began at 6 a.m. with a dharna in front of the main gate by the Samaikyandhra supporters. Congress leader and Gajuwaka MLA Chintalpudi Venkataramaiah joined the protesters at about 8 a.m. and the Minister visited the area at 10 a.m. Amid slogans in support of united Andhra Pradesh, the Minister said people of Seemandhra region were totally against bifurcation.

The port stated in a statement that “as part of the Samaikyandhra movement, Minister Ganta Srinivas Rao and Gajuwaka MLA Chintalapudi Venkatramaiah visited the Gangavaram Port during the morning hours and asked for the port operations to be halted. The port management cooperated and stopped the port operations for the first work shift. The operations resumed normally thereafter.”