Students holding a protest march against the creation of separate Telangana state in Vishakhapatnam. |PTI
Protests and shutdown continued for the second day Thursday in Rayalaseema and Andhra against the centre's decision to divide Andhra Pradesh to carve out separate Telangana state.
Shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed while buses were off the roads for the second consecutive in all major towns of Seemandhra, as the two regions are called.
Demanding the centre to reverse its decision and keep the state united, hundreds of protestors took to the streets. They burnt effigies of Congress leaders and demanded mass resignations of all elected representatives irrespective of their party affiliations to mount pressure on United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre.
Raising slogans of 'Jai Samaikya Andhra' or united Andhra, the protestors including students, political activists, employees, teachers and lawyers took out rallies.
Buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) remained confined to depots in Kadapa, Anantapur, Chittoor and Kurnool districts of Rayalaseema and several parts of coastal Andhra. Statues of late prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were vandalized overnight at some places in both the regions.
Protests were continuing in Anantapur, Kadapa, Kurnool, Tirupati, Chittoor, Nellore, Vijayawada, Guntur, Eluru, Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Visakhapatnam, Vijaynagaram and other towns.
In Vijayawada, employees of Vijayawada Thermal Power Station (VTPS) also joined the protest. The employees' leaders have warned that if the political leaders failed to quit their posts, they would go on strike. The plant meets 40 percent of the state's electricity requirement.
Samaikya Andhra Joint Action Committee (JAC) has called for the shutdown and protests across Seemandhra. JAC leaders said there would be no compromise on united Andhra.
"We are protesting for the safety and the interests of 90 lakh people who live in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana," said a JAC leader.