HYDERABAD:The dawn-to-dusk bandh call given by the Opposition parties demanding that the TRS government implement its farm loan waiver promise in one go rather than in a phased manner, evoked a mixed response on Saturday. While the state capital, Hyderabad, largely remained unaffected by the shutdown, TSRTC buses which were off the roads in the districts threw normal life out of gear.
Barring sporadic incidents of protestors pelting stones at TSRTC buses, the bandh was peaceful. Irate protestors breaking glasses of the state-run buses were reported from Tank Bund, Mehidipatnam, Chaderghat, Abids and Musheerabad areas in the city.
As the day being a second Saturday, mostly a holiday for both state and Central government offices, and with Dasara vacation for educational institutions beginning Saturday, the bandh hardly had any impact on normal life in the city. Raising slogans against the government’s ‘indifferent’ attitude to waive off crop loans at one go, the opposition party leaders staged demonstrations outside bus stations and depots from early morning, stopping buses from plying. The agitating leaders were detained and taken to various police stations in the city.
TPCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy and Congress leaders Ponnala Lakshmaiah, Danam Nagendar were picked up from Mahatma Gandhi bus station. TDP leaders Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Revanth Reddy and BJP MLA Ramchandra Reddy were arrested from Jubilee bus station. CPM leader Thammineni Veerabhadram, CPI leader P Narayana were bundled into a police jeep when they tried to block traffic at RTC crossroads.
Youth Congress leaders were also arrested when they made a vain attempt to lay siege to the Secretariat and burn the effigy of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
While claiming that the bandh was successful, leader of the Opposition in the Assembly K Jana Reddy accused the TRS government of resorting to undemocratic practices by muzzling the voice of the Opposition.
The voluntary participation of commoners in the bandh should serve as a wake-up call for the government to act on alleviating the plight of farmers. “The opposition leaders are ready to fight it out with the government until justice is done for the farmers. We are even ready to go to jails,” he said. However, Reddy stayed away from participating in the protests citing ill-health.
Leading the government’s charge from the front, IT minister KT Rama Rao hit out at the opposition. “They(Congress and TDP) had never showed any concern for farmers when they were in power. Why make a hue and cry now, if not for political survival?” he asked and reiterated that TRS government was committed to transform the state into Bangaru Telangana.
Commercial taxes minister Talasani Srinivas, agriculture minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy and home minister Nayani Narsimha Reddy mocked at the strategy of opposition leaders’ intention to give a bandh call on a holiday.