The public reaction to the bifurcation of the State has baffled the Congress leadership in Kurnool as well as other Rayalaseema districts who least anticipated trouble.
Educational institutions, employees’ unions, professionals including doctors voluntarily joined the agitation to give vent to their anger. Many said they had suffered a kind of humiliation all these years when Telangana leaders went on criticising other regions left and right. Many consider this the time to repay.
The Congress leadership least expected that that the angry public would go on pulling down and burning statues of top Congress leaders. Minister for Minor Irrigation T.G. Venkatesh told The Hindu that they were upset by the agitators burning effigies of leaders in their presence.
The efforts of the Congress leaders failed to convey to the public that the Centre gave a nod for bifurcation only after all Opposition parties, especially the TDP, YSR Congress, CPI and the BJP gave their consent. Even the CPI (M) was prepared for the bifurcation after seeing the developments.
According to Mr. Venkatesh, the Opposition parties, especially the YSRC and the TDP were fomenting trouble to make the best use of the situation. According to political observers, the public has not taken into consideration any of the parties or their leaders. Most of the agitations are going on without the support of political parties. The Congress is the worst victim of the bifurcation blues in Rayalaseema, he said.
While the leaders from Kurnool district, including Kotla Jayasuryaprakasa Reddy, E. Pratap Reddy and MLAs lobbied in New Delhi to protect the interests of Kurnool district which had to share river water with Telangana, Mr. Venkatesh said he would stick to Samaikyandhra and the Congress party irrespective of the developments.
Rallies were part of the protests against the bifurcation of the State.
AP NGOs, officers, teachers and employees took out a rally from the Collectorate to Zilla Parishad and held a demonstration. The leaders criticised the government and political parties for causing confusion and creating conditions for the bifurcation of the State. They said had the political parties not played politics, things would not have deteriorated to such an extent.
The JAC leaders criticised the police officers for trying to suppress the movement for pleasing the top bosses. The police, who gave casual treatment during Telangana struggle, were trying to swoop down on the Samaikyandhra activists.
The Joint Action Committee of Rayalaseema University led by chairman Prof. Srinivasa Rao took out a bike rally from the university campus to C. Camp and from there on foot to Zilla Parishad. They expressed solidarity to the employees JAC and promised support for unified action. Teachers G. Ramakrishna, V. Ravisankar, Sunkanna and others took part in the protest. Priests Association led by T. Raghurama Sarma conducted homam for the second day at Vinayaka temple propitiating “Karthyaveerarjuna” to stop the bifurcation of the State. K.V. Subba Reddy, whose indefinite fast was foiled by the police, took part in the rituals.
Meanwhile, rallies continued throughout the city demanding an integrated State. Most of the groups who had no political leanings, took part in the rallies.