A state-wide bandh called by a people’s forum for granting special category status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh is being observed yesterday.The ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP), though supporting the cause, decided to stay away from the agitation.All political parties the YSR Congress Party, Congress, CPM, CPI, Lok Satta and Jana Sena Party took part in the bandh barring the ruling Telugu Desam Party and the BJP. The TDP has clarified that though it wanted SCS to the State, it was against hartal and on its part, it would organise a peaceful and democratic agitation without disrupting public life, to achieve the goal.
Leaders of the Opposition parties all over the State came on to the roads early in the morning and took part in the bandh to which educational institutions and business houses also declared their support. YCP president YS Jaganmohan Reddy who is on a Praja Sankalpa Yatra touring the entire State also supported the bandh by stopping his Yatra for the day.The APSRTC buses were confined to the bus depots in all the cities, towns and villages and the State Government postponed examinations in view of the bandh call.No major incidents were reported through demonstrations were held at several places by the participants who raised slogans against the NDA Government for not granting the SCS to Andhra Pradesh and also not fulfilling the promises made to the people of the State at the time of bifurcation.
YSR Congress Party leader and member of the Rajya Sabha Vijaya Sai Reddy in Visakhapatnam said that Chandrababu Naidu is the villain responsible for Andhra Pradesh not getting the promised special category status. He first accepted the special package offered by the Centre in lieu of the SCS and now had taken a U-turn for political gains. His flip-flop has proved very costly for the State, he observed.
BJP State president Haribabu said it was most unfortunate that the ruling TDP is indulging in a disinformation campaign, misleading the people of the State on the SCS and other issues. The State Government was also indirectly supporting bandhs and agitations on the issue, he pointed out and took strong exception to the Chief Minister’s reported critical remarks against the Prime Minister, while the former was in Singapore as it was highly improper for a Chief Minister to criticise the Prime Minister on foreign soil.