Andhra Pradesh on Saturday witnessed some tense moments as the opposition parties called for a state-wide bandh, to protest the denial of Special Status to the state.
After two days of disrupted proceedings in the Assembly and sporadic protests in the state, all political parties including the YSRCP, Congress and the Left parties joined hands for the bandh.
The police were quick to act and detained many protesters belonging to the Left parties and YSRCP in the morning.
According to The Hindu, CPI leaders were also taken into custody in Kadapa and so was Kadapa Mayor K Suresh Babu.
Protests also began at the Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS) in Vijayawada where Left parties waved flags and raised slogans.
The Kadapa district president of YSRCP A Amarnath Reddy reportedly protested at the Rajampet RTC bus stand.
Many buses were off the roads as the state's Congress unit announced that they would block 10 national highways in the state.
While there were reports of some educational institutes shutting down, many schools and colleges functioned in various parts of the state.
Speaking to the media, YSRCP leader Kotam Pratap Reddy said “If Chandrababu Naidu himself cannot demand the Centre for special category status due to his political compulsions, then he should at least let the opposition stage dharnas and protests for the demand. He can then show these protests to the Central leadership and highlight the need for Special Status. The incidents of the last few days clearly indicate that the CM has clearly failed in highlighting the demands of the people and thus their long-term welfare.”
CPI leaders were also taken into custody in Kadapa. YSRC district president A. Amarnath Reddy, protested at the Rajampet RTC bus stand.— Vijayawada Connect (@VjaConnect) September 10, 2016
— ANI (@ANI_news) September 10, 2016
On Friday, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that political parties should do their “homework” on what was granted to Andhra instead of sticking to their demand.
“Political parties are unfortunately sticking on to this label, Special Status, and making an issue out of it. I will appeal to them to please do some homework on what exactly the central government has extended to Andhra Pradesh. Whether this will be of significance for kick-starting the economy and making it vibrant or not should be debated on facts rather than just on emotions,” PTI quoted her as saying.
Speaking to India Today, Naidu termed the opposition's call for bandh as irresponsible and added "People are already facing difficulties and you (opposition) want to create law and order problem, and cause inconvenience to people. This is very bad. I condemn it. This is not at all acceptable...Government of India has to fulfill its commitment. But, at the same time, opposition parties can't create problems in Andhra Pradesh.