Andhra Pradesh

Andhra bandh ends peacefully

In one voice: YSRCP MP V. Vijayasai Reddy and Ministers leading a protest in Visakhapatnam on Friday.  

The Andhra Pradesh bandh called by the Left parties on Friday to oppose the privatisation of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), evoked a moderate response, even as the ruling YSR Congress and other major parties, barring the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Jana Sena combine, extended support.

Stray incidents were reported from different places in the State but overall the bandh ended peacefully, police sources here said.

The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) suspended its services till afternoon while educational institutions remained shut.

Cinema halls did not run the morning show but major businesses were not affected by the bandh.

Employees of the State Secretariat sported black badges and attended work in solidarity with the protesters.

The Telugu Desam Party, the Congress, trade unions and other organisations, too, extended support to the bandh, denouncing the Centre’s decision to go ahead with a “strategic sale” of the VSP, operated by the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited.

They all demanded that the Centre immediately withdraw from the move to sell the VSP to private parties.

The protesters took out rallies in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur and other main centres in the State with the slogan ‘Visakha Ukku — Andhrula Hakku’ (‘Vizag Steel is Andhra’s right’).

Andhra Pradesh Congress president S. Sailajanath, who led a rally in Visakhapatnam, alleged that the YSR Congress and the BJP were colluding to privatise valuable government assets in the State.

Farmers in the Amaravati region, who themselves have been agitated for over a year now in opposing the relocation of the State capital, extended support to the agitation and took out a rally.

There was an altercation between the protesters and the police at Mandadam village in Amaravati as the latter tried to stop the rally.

In Kaikaluru in Krishna district, activists of the YSR Congress and the Telugu Desam Party engaged in a scuffle over a banner but police intervened and dispersed them.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 12:02:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/andhra-bandh-ends-peacefully/article34000199.ece

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