The Andhra Pradesh Bandh, in response to the call given by the struggle committee for Special Category Status to AP on Monday was peaceful and total.
All political parties –the YSR Congress Party, Congress, CPM, CPI, Lok Satta and Jana Sena Party took part in the bandh barring the ruling Telugu Desam Party and the BJP.
The TDP has clarified that though it wanted SCS to the State, it was against hartal and on its part, it would organise a peaceful and democratic agitation without disrupting public life, to achieve the goal.
Convener of the struggle committee Chalasani Srinivas, who thanked the Opposition parties for making the bandh a big success, took exception to the remarks of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu that the protests should be held in New Delhi and not in the State.
“Does the Chief Minister want us to protest in Uttar Pradesh or Madhya Pradesh for injustice done to the people of the State?” he asked.
He also condemned the statements of the local BJP leaders as well as the national leaders of the party and accused the BJP of betraying the interests of the people and acting in a most irresponsible manner.
He said the struggle would be intensified and announced that the Dark Day would be observed on April 24 from 7 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. by switching off all lights in the State.
CPI State secretary K. Ramakrishna wondered why Chandrababu Naidu who wanted others to agitate in Delhi, has selected the PWD Ground in Vijayawada for observing a day long protest. He should do it at Jantar Mantar or in front of the Prime Minister’s house in Delhi, he said.
He also wanted Vice-President of India M Venkaiah Naidu to observe similar deeksha along with Chandrababu Naidu to `wash their sins’ as it was they who promised SCS to AP.
He wanted Visakhapatnam MP and State BJP president K Haribabu to resign for misleading the public by claiming that 85 per cent of the promises were already implemented.
YSR Congress Party leader and member of the Rajya Sabha Vijaya Sai Reddy in Visakhapatnam said that Chandrababu Naidu is the villain responsible for Andhra Pradesh not getting the promised special category status.
He first accepted the special package offered by the Centre in lieu of the SCS and now had taken a U-turn for political gains. His flip-flop has proved very costly for the State, he observed.