Normality in parts of Andhra and Rayalaseema regions was affected on Friday in response to a day-long shutdown to protest the proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

Buses of the Andhra Pradesh Transport Corporation (APSRTC) went off the roads as political activists, students and other groups opposed to the division of the State took to the streets.

Shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed in most parts of the 13 districts — nine districts of the Andhra region and four of Rayalaseema.

In the coastal city of Visakhapatnam, and commercial hubs like Guntur, Vijayawada, Machilipatnam, Nellore, Kurnool and Kadapa, roads wore a deserted look as the APSRTC suspended all bus services.

Protesters conducted rallies raising slogans against the proposed formation of a separate Telangana State and demanded that the Central government drop the proposal.

In Rayalaseema, various groups called for a shutdown to oppose the division of the State. They, however, want separate Statehood for their own region in the event of the formation of a Telangana State.

Police said they have made elaborate security arrangements to prevent violence. Students of various universities in both the regions had damaged several buses during the protest on Thursday.

Telangana calm

Telangana, which witnessed violent agitation for a separate State, is now calm. Hyderabad and nine other districts of the region have returned to normal after 11 days of protests and shutdowns.

The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) plans to conduct a victory rally in Telangana districts to celebrate the announcement by the Centre that the process of forming a separate State would be initiated by tabling a resolution in the State Assembly.