Several groups in Andhra Pradesh have called for a state-wide bandh on April 16, to make the Centre take note of the 'injustice', over the latter's refusal to grant Special Category Status (SCS).
The one-day shutdown was called by the Pratyeka Hoda Vibhajana Hameela Sadhana Samithi and was backed by the Left parties, chief opposition YSR Congress party, and actor-politician Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena party.
The parties said that barring emergency services, all places across the state will be shut.
The Samithi organised a protest at Vijayawada's Lenin Centre on Thursday, where leader Chalasani Srinivas said that people would protest the central government's 'negligent' attitude towards Andhra during the bandh.
He also questioned the BJP's motive in staging a day-long fast across the country, to protest the washout of Parliament’s budget session, for which the BJP has blamed the Congress.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters, YSRCP leader Kolusu Parthasarathy also criticised Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and said that he returned to his demand for SCS only fearing public anger, despite warmly accepting the earlier 'special package' announced by the Centre.
Speaking at a press meet in Hyderabad, Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan, CPM State secretary P Madhu and CPI State secretary K Ramakrishna lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for failing to grant SCS to the state.
“It is ridiculous on the part of Modi, who heads one of the strongest economic powers in the world, to go on ‘fast’ to protest disruption of the Budget session of Parliament along with his party members. When Modi entered the portals of Parliament for the first time, we all believed that he would uphold the sanctity of the Constitution and democracy, but his attitude and strategy with regard to the no-confidence motion has upset everyone," the actor-politician told reporters.
Meannwhile, responding to the call for the state-wide bandh, Naidu said, “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."
Earlier this week, Naidu questioned the Prime Minister's decision to observe a day-long fast.
Speaking to reporters, Naidu alleged that it was the Centre itself which caused the disruption, as it 'provoked' the AIADMK over the Cauvery issue and did not constitute a Cauvery Management Board for fear of losing votes in the upcoming Karnataka elections.
"They government provoked the AIADMK and ensured that the MPs of the ruling party in Tamil Nadu stormed the well of the Lok Sabha and thereby did not allow the TDP to raise its demand (for granting a special category status to Andhra Pradesh). How atrocious… And now he (Modi) says he will observe a protest… seeking to portray the opposition as wrong and he as right. Is it correct? Is it justified?” the TDP chief asked.