Statewide bandh in Andhra Pradesh over special category status demand

Statewide bandh in Andhra Pradesh over special category status demand

As the demands for a Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh continue, a people's forum launched a state-wide bandh on Monday early morning, supported by the state's Opposition parties.

Shops and establishments remained shut and vehicles stayed off the roads in Andhra Pradesh on Monday following a shutdown called by Pratyeka Hoda Sadhana Samiti (PHSS), a non-political organization formed to demand special category status for the state.

The Left parties are protesting on National Highway 16 which connects Kolkata and Chennai.

TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, however, condemned the bandh, saying bandhs were not welcome because they stall development.

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Educational institutions were closed and the movement of AP State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) buses was also affected. "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", he said, adding that "bandh was a form of a democratic protest and he had no right to oppose it". The decision to observe a bandh was taken at an all-party meeting called by PHSS, excluding the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the TDP.

This bandh was supported by Left parties, Andhra's chief opposition party YSRCP, the Congress and Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena party.

Sadhna Samithi Chalasani Srinivas said the "bandh" was in protest against the Narendra Modi government's refusal to grant special status. He also alleged that the government had issued notices to those who had declared their support for the shutdown, warning them that cases may be booked against them.

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