Normal life disrupted for fourth consecutive day in coastal Andhra; KCR’s speech triggers protests; Kondepi MLA resigns

Normal life was disrupted in Prakasam district as a bandh was observed on Saturday on a call given by the YSR Congress Party in protest against the Centre's decision to divide the State.

The ruling Congress MLA from Kondepi G.V. Seshu faxed his resignation to the Assembly Speaker after the State government employees and students laid a siege to his house at Cloughpet here, while S.N.Padu MLA B.N.Vijaykumar, who was away, telephonically promised the agitators to follow suit.

Taking strong objection TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao's reported call to Andhra employees to go back, irate employees set ablaze his effigy. YSR Congress and TDP activists burnt the effigy of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the UPA Government respectively at the busy Church centre here.

Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers Association district president Sk.Abdul Basheer said the employees would chalk out the next course of stir on Sunday.

Buses were off the road as the protestors led by senior YSR Congress leader Balineni Srinivasa Reddy swarmed the bus station. The APSRTC withdrew its services in the entire district. Educational institutions remained closed. Shops and other business establishments downed the shutters.

In Chirala, protestors led by Samaikyandhra Political JAC Convenor G.Madhava Rao burnt the effigies of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi as also Union Ministers D. Purandeswari and Panabaka Lakshmi. Later, members of the Brahmana Samakhya performed ‘Pindapradanam’ to the TRS chief as also Telangana JAC Chairman Kodandaram.

Protest marches and demonstrations were also organised in, among other places, Markapur, Giddalur, Kandukur, Podili and Kanigiri, according to reports received here.

2 die of cardiac arrest

Two persons, petti vendor in Narsapur and a retired government employee in Eluru, reportedly died of heart attack while a youth attempted to immolate himself in Bhimavaram during the Samaikhyandhra agitation in West Godavari district on Saturday. The toll has reached three in the district, including the death of a building worker in Bhimavaram area reported on Friday.

According to information, Katuri Gangadhar (52) from Narsapur, who was running a roadside cafeteria, allegedly died of cardiac arrest following the ‘inflammatory’ speeches of TRS leader K. Chandrasekhar Rao on the fate of government employees of the Seemandhra region working in Telangana region. The victim’s daughter has completed graduation in his hometown and is on job trials in Hyderabad for some time.

Appa Rao, a resident of Eluru who retired as a government employee, also reportedly died in a similar manner. The victim was said to have undergone a lot of stress about the future of his children, working in Hyderabad, in the wake of the ‘provocative’ speech by Mr. K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

Mallepalli Hari (25), auto driver, reportedly made a futile bid to immolate himself by dousing himself with kerosene at Prakasam Chowk. The alert police and the agitators thwarted his attempts and saved him from the extreme step. The Joint Action Committee leader Ande Ranga Rao consoled the family members of Gangadhar in Narsapur.

Police deny permission

Meanwhile, the funeral of Irrinki Srinivas took place in his native village of Vissakoderu on Friday. Congress MP Kanumuri Bapi Raju, TDP MLA V. Venkatasivarama Raju and other JAC leaders attended the funeral. Originally, the JAC leaders planned to hold a massive dharna in Bhimavaram along with the body after it was subjected to post mortem. But the police refused to allow the JAC leadership to go ahead with the plan on the ground of law and order problem. The refusal of permission by the police resulted in a high-level political drama in the town with the TDP MLA staging a sit-in on the main road for a few hours.

KCR flayed

The government employees hit back at the TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao for his ‘provocative’ talk on the fate of government employees from the Seemandhra region working in Telangana in a show of protest in West Godavari district on Saturday. Employees working in different government agencies across the district hit the road against the utterances of the TRS leader and actively took part in the bandh in support of Samaikhyandhra. RTC employees in Eluru and municipal employees in Bhimavaram cooked and dined food on the roads as an expression of protest against the TRS leader. A similar road show was reported at Jangareddygudem. Trains were detained at Bhimavaram.

Normal life continued to be paralysed for the fourth day on Saturday all over the district with an indefinite bandh in force. The RTC buses have been off the road and educational institutions remain closed ever since the statement of the UPA in favour of the State bifurcation. Strikingly, students and youths from the working class who include auto and taxi drivers, auto mobile mechanics and the others engaged in low-paid jobs turned out to be the staunch protagonists of the Samaikhyandhra movement. The movement has been sporadic and scattered, lacking coordination at the district level. M.V. Suryanarayana Raju, Chairman of the Bhimavaram town JAC for Samaikhyandhra said efforts were underway to bring the movement under a single platform at the district level.

Narsapur MP from the Congress Kanumuri Bapi Raju became the butt of the anger of integrationists for his statement negating the demand for his resignation. He was quoted in the media as having stated that the resignations were not a solution to the Samaikhyandhra problem. Agitators demanded that Mr. Bapi Raju resign in line with the sentiment of the Seemandhra people during the funeral procession of a building worker who died during the agitation at Vissakoderu.