Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions witnessed large-scale protests over the Congress-led UPA’s decision to carve out Telangana on Tuesday. A total ‘bandh’ has been called by several groups leading the United Andhra movement in Seemandhra Region.
While the protests were subdued till afternoon in many towns and cities, they picked up momentum by late evening and coinciding with the official announcement in New Delhi, Samaikyandhra student JAC organised a rasta roko on National Highway No.5 in Vijayawada and its leader Devineni Avinash was arrested. A massive rally was taken out by students on MG Road in Vijayawada in the morning.
At Visakhapatnam too, the student JAC leaders, who protested in the morning, began indefinite fast, but were removed from their tent near Andhra University. Students in Krishna University boycotted classes and majority of the institutions have decided to keep it closed on Wednesday.
Teachers of Krishna district, drafted for panchayat poll duties, decided to boycott the election.
Meanwhile, Chittoor town plunged into darkness after violence spread in the town. Tension prevailed as two autorickshaws were set afire. Congress legislator C.K. Babu squatted at Gandhi Circle to express resentment.
State Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana, who was returning from Madakasira after attending the funeral ceremony of the mother of Revenue Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy, was stopped and gheraoed by activists of the Samaikyandhra student JAC and asked for his resignation in Anantapur.
In Tirupati, YSRC MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy staged a sit-in at Nalugukalla Mandapam. At Rajahmundry, protests were witnessed when NGOs, students, lawyers and people from other sections came on to the streets.
Schools and colleges were shut down in support of the Samaikyandhra movement in Amalapuram, Tuni, Ramachandrapuram, and Kakinada. At some places the protesters formed human chains.
At many places in Anantapur district continuous protests were witnessed with common people also participating in good numbers. Over 2,000 people participated in a protest rally in Penukonda. In Hindupur, violent protests broke out when agitated people pelted stones at lodges and buses.
“For political gains”
Tirupati Staff Reporter writes:
Sri Venkateswara University’s Srinivasa Auditorium was bursting at the seams on Tuesday, with students and supporters of the unified State gathering at ‘Samaikyandhra Garjana’.
The event was organised jointly by SVU-Joint Action Committee (SVU-JAC) and AP Non-Gazetted Officers Association (APNGOs) under the common forum titled ‘Samaikya Rashtra Parirakshana Vedika’.
Speaking at the event, Nagarjuna University Professor Narsimha Rao accused the Congress of looking for political gains in the State bifurcation issue. “Most of the funds from the budget will be diverted to Telangana, which will create problems for Seemandhra people,” he said.
Leaders at the forum lauded the decision of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy to quit his post if the State was divided. They urged the politicians, irrespective of their political affiliations, to follow suit. “The politicians should resign and lend their support to the movement,” they added.