AP Braces for Total Bandh for Special Status Today 

The YSRCP sponsored bandh is getting huge response from political parties, student unions and social organisations. - Sakshi Post

Vijayawada: Buses were off-road while schools and colleges declared holiday on Tuesday following a bandh call given by YSR Congress Party demanding Special Category Status (SCS) for Andhra Pradesh.

The simmering tension in the state regarding SCS shot up, when Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu denied SCS to Andhra Pradesh in separate statements in the Parliament recently. Following the statements by the Union ministers and the resultant knee-jerk reaction of the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP), YSRCP president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy called for a state bandh on August 2. He called on political parties, student unions, workers and social organisations to support the bandh in order to bring pressure on the state and central governments to accord SCS to AP.

YSRCP president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announcing the bandh call demanding Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh.

Consequently, districts units of YSRCP began enforcing a bandh in all the villages, towns and cities of the 13 districts of the state on Tuesday. Dharnas and sit-ins began early in the morning at all RTC depots. Activists and student unions began march in all major towns with banners and placards demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh. Attendance at all government offices is expected to be thin due to the protest call.

Meanwhile, senior YSRCP leader Botcha Satyanarayana strongly criticised the ruling TDP for its failure to convince the Central government though it was a partner in the NDA. Stating the SCS would increase industrial growth and job creation in the state, he termed the reaction of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to the Parliament statements as mere eyewash.

Support from other Parties: The state unit of All India Congress Committee (AICC), CPI and CPI(M) declared their support to the bandh call. Addressing the media in Guntur on Monday, CPM politburo member Prakash Karat demanded that the Centre grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh and also asked the Telugu Desam Party to come out with a clear stand on the issue. “It is the responsibility of the Centre to render justice to the state by honouring all the promises made at the time of bifurcation,” Karat said.

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