Opposition shutdown hits transport in Andhra Pradesh


Hyderabad: The day-long shutdown called by opposition parties against price rise evoked partial response in Andhra Pradesh affecting transport services.

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State-owned Road Transport Corp (RTC) stopped plying buses in several places in Andhra Pradesh as opposition workers held demonstrations outside bus depots and staged road blockades, police said.

Shops and business establishments in some towns were partially closed. Normal life largely remained unaffected in Hyderabad as buses plied normally while shops and business establishments were open.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Forward Block and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) called for the shutdown to protest price rise.

Leaders and activists of the five parties were arrested in Hyderabad and 22 other districts of the state as they tried to forcibly close shops, staged road and rail blockades, and took out rallies.

Mild tension prevailed at RTC cross roads here when TDP, CPI and CPI-M workers blocked vehicular traffic and police used force to disperse them. CPI state secretary K. Narayana and CPI-M state secretary B.V. Raghavulu were among the leaders who were arrested.

In Uppal on the city’s outskirts, TDP leaders led by former minister T. Devender Goud took out a motorcycle rally to enforce the shutdown.

Police arrested opposition activists in Ongole town in Prakasam district when they stopped RTC buses from plying. Dozens of protesters were also taken into custody in Nalgonda.

Vehicular traffic came to a standstill on National Highway 9 near Vijayawada as leaders and workers of the opposition parties squatted on the road.

Blaming the policies of the central and state governments for the price rise, CPI leader Narayana demanded that the government immediately reduce VAT on food items in Andhra Pradesh.