Shutdown paralyses Seemandhra

December 07, 2013 - 7:25:01 am
Hyderabad: Normal life came to a grinding halt in all 13 districts of Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions yesterday to protest the union cabinet’s approval to a draft bill for formation of separate Telangana state.

Transport services were paralysed as over 12,000 buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) went off the roads in Seemandhra, as the two regions are together known.

Shops, petrol bunks, business establishments and education institutions were shut in response to the shutdown called by YSR Congress party and Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) Association. The MPs of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) have also given a call for 48-hour shutdown.

Political activists, public representatives, government employees, students and other sections of people took to streets since early morning in all nine districts of coastal Andhra and four districts of Rayalaseema. They were seen enforcing the shutdown and staging road blockades.

The shutdown was total in major towns like Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur, Nellore, Tirupati, Kurnool and Anantapur.

Police and paramilitary forces were deployed in Seemandhra to maintain peace. Police sounded high alert Thursday night after the union cabinet approved draft Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill for carving out separate Telangana state.

Parties opposing the bifurcation have reacted strongly to the cabinet approval. YSR Congress party chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy called for the shutdown and said the decision would spell doom for the two regions. 

Police stepped up security at the residences of central and state ministers, MPs and state legislators.

Seemandhra had witnessed massive protests after July 30 decision of the Congress Working Committee to carve out Telangana state. Over six lakh government employees, APSRTC workers and teachers were on strike for nearly two months.

Meanwhile, demanding amendments in the draft bill for formation of Telangana state, the TRS yesterday said certain powers proposed for the governor would be an insult to people of the region.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhara Rao asked the central government not to infringe on powers of democratically elected government of Telangana.

Addressing a news conference, he said the TRS would not accept power of maintaining law and order in Hyderabad entrusted to the governor. He said such powers would make the governor a super council of ministers and pointed out that law and order is a state subject.

KCR, as Rao is popularly known, said he would write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seek changes in the bill when it comes before parliament.

Hyderabad will serve as common capital of the two states for 10 years. Under the bill, Telangana governor will have “special responsibility for the security of life, liberty and property of all those who reside in the common capital area”.

KCR also found fault with certain other provisions relating to allocation of employees, distribution of liabilities and admissions into higher education institutions.

IANS
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