Normal life came to a standstill in Andhra Pradesh on Monday as the day-long shutdown called in demand for the special status category to the state evoked near total response.
The Andhra Pradesh Pratyeka Hoda Saadhana Samiti, which has called the shutdown, had asked the opposition parties to support the cause. Meanwhile, the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has opposed the statewide shutdown.
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Andhra Pradesh police have made a decision to beef up security across the state in the light of the day-long bandh being observed by the people's forum.
TDP head and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu expressed that bandhs were not welcome as they hamper development.
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The SCS Sadhana Samithi also urged activists to drop students at their destinations and not to stop school buses during bandh.
Protests were held at bus stations in Vijayawada, Guntur, Tirupati, Visakhapatnam and other towns across the state.
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The protests for special status for Andhra Pradesh gathered momentum in the past few months since political parties demanded "Special Category Status" a year ago. State Road Transport Corporation buses remained confined to the depots as protesters staged sit-ins and "road roko" at various places. "It will make Modi happier", a leading daily quoted Naidu as saying. Slamming the chief minister for maintaining "double standards", YSRC political affairs committee member Ambati Rambabu told news agency PTI, "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". Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had accused Prime Minister led Narendra Modi government of following an oppressive policy instead of attempting to resolve the issue of granting special category status to the state.