APCC chief N Raghuveera Reddy rides a rickshaw as part of Bharat bandh in Vijayawada on Monday I P Ravindra Babu
VIJAYAWADA: The Bharat Bandh called by the Congress and supported by other parties, including the ruling TDP, Left parties and Jana Sena, against spiralling fuel prices evoked mixed response in the State on Monday.
Though public transport services were interrupted in the morning with various political party leaders staging protest in front of bus depots, bus services were resumed by afternoon. Except a few, all the commercial establishments, shops and hotels remained open across the State.
Since morning, leaders of CPI and CPM staged protests in front of the RTC depots in Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Kadapa, Kurnool and other places, while student organisations affiliated to the Left parties staged protests at the RTC bus stands in Anantapur, West Godavari and Srikakulam.
Police detained agitators at various places across the State to ensure smooth operation of RTC buses. Protesters were arrested at the Lenin Centre in Vijayawada.
Some educational institutions remained closed in Krishna, Kadapa, Nellore, Anantapur, Guntur, Visakhapatnam, and other districts. Retail outlets, shopping malls and eateries remained open after 11 am.
In Vijayawada, Congress activists, led by APCC chief N Raghuveera Reddy, took out a rickshaw rally from Andhra Ratna Bhavan to Besant Road. Addressing the rally, Reddy said the prices of essential commodities such as salt, pulses and others had touched the sky due to spiralling fuel prices.
The bandh was near total in Rajamahendravaram. Cadre of Communist parties took out a bullock cart rally from Syamala Centre to Kotipalli bus stand in the city.
During the rally, CPM district secretary R Arun and CPI city secretary fell on the road when the cart took a turn. The injured leaders were shifted to a nearby hospital for administering first aid.
The Congress took out a rally from Kotagummam Centre to Syamala Theatre Centre. Chamber of Commerce supported the bandh and most of the shops, business establishments and educational institutions in East Godavari district remained shut.
In Prakasam district, shops, educational institutions and main post office remained shut. TDP leaders took out rallies and staged dharna.