Amaravati, Apr 16: A state-wide shutdown or bandh is called in Andhra Pradesh today to protest the Centre’s refusal to grant special category status to the state. The call for Andhra Pradesh bandh is given by the Pratyeka Hoda Vibhajana Hameela Sadhana Samithi. Opposition parties like Congress, YSR Congress, Left and actor-politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena have announced their support to the call for Andhra Pradesh bandh. Interestingly, the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has opposed the state-wide shutdown.
The call for Andhra Pradesh bandh is also supported by outfits such as Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC). Educational institutes in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam districts of the state are most likely to be shut. GITAM University in Visakhapatnam postponed all the semester/trimester end examinations that were scheduled to be held today. Security has been beefed up across the state to avoid any untoward incidents during the bandh.
As far as transportation is concerned, daily commuters are likely to face problems as autos and taxis may be off the roads. Buses of the state-run Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSTRC) will operate only till the state border. TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister said bandhs were not welcome as they hamper development. “We need to educate the people against the Modi government and take the battle to Delhi. What is the point in stalling the development in the state? It will make Modi happier,” Naidu was quoted as saying.
Reacting to Naidu’s statement on call for Andhra Pradesh bandh, the YSR Congress accused the Chief Minister of adopting ‘double standards’. “When Naidu was the opposition leader, he had called for bandhs on many occasions, but as a Chief Minister he is now opposing them (bandhs), saying they hinder development,” YSR Congress’s political affairs committee member Ambati Rambabu said. He said Naidu should understand that bandh was a form of a democratic protest and he had no right to oppose it.