Several Opposition parties and labour unions in Andhra Pradesh participated in a day-long statewide strike on Monday to protest against the Centre’s refusal to grant the state special category status.
Protests by MPs from Andhra Pradesh over the matter caused a near washout of the Budget Session of Parliament in March and April, with the state’s ruling Telugu Desam Party and Opposition YSR Congress Party stalling proceedings for 22 straight days.
Monday’s shutdown, called by the Pratyeka Hoda Vibhajana Hameela Sadhana Samithi, has the support of Left parties, YSR Congress Party and actor-politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena party. The ruling Telugu Desam Party does not support the strike.
Streets remained empty as vehicles stayed off the roads because of the shutdown. YSR Congress claimed 1,600 state buses were not operating.
Leaders and activists of Opposition parties staged protests, and the strike remained mostly peaceful except in Tirupati, where a motorcycle was set on fire.
While emergency services such as hospitals and pharmacies will continue to run, public transport, educational institutes and shops were shut, The News Minute reported.
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation said its buses will only run till the Andhra Pradesh border, ANI reported. The police have stepped up security across the state.