The ‘Bharat Bandh’, called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha(SKM) and backed by central trade unions as also all parties barring the Bharatiya Janata Party- Jena Sena Party combine, evoked good response in South Coastal Andhra Pradesh on Monday.
The State government withdrew bus services and declared holiday for students of State-run schools as the ruling YSR Congress party backed the bandh called to press the farmers’ demand for repeal of the three farm laws and statutory backing to minimum support price(MSP) as per the formula evolved by noted agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan.
Shops, educational institutions and other business establishments remained closed in, among other places, Ongole and Nellore.
Financial services were disrupted as banks and insurance companies downed the shutters. Central government offices, including Post offices also remained closed during the bandh, enforced also to demand that the Centre give up its move to phase out power subsidies by amending the Electricity Act and scrap the new Labour code which snatched away the workers’ rights.
Bandh supporters led by SKM Prakasam district convenor Ch.Ranga Rao organised a rally on the main thoroughfares in Ongole and raised slogans against the Centre for selling public sector enterprises.
Slogans rent the air
‘Visakha Ukku Andhrula Hakku’ slogan rented the air as the activists pressed for retaining RINL in the public sector. Arunodaya activists, who performed a skit taking a dig at the privatisation spree of the BJP-led government at the Centre, were the cynosure of all eyes.
In Nellore, activists of the Communist Party of India(CPI), CPI(Marxist), Telugu Desam Party took out a procession starting from the Atmakur centre up to VR centre and forced closure of shops and other business establishments at the Gandhi Bomma centre and on the Trunk road.
CPI District Secretary Ch.Prabhakar, CPI(M) city in-charge M.Ramesh, Congress district president Ch. Devaprabhakar Reddy, TDP city in-charge Kottamreddy Srinivasulu Reddy and CPI(ML) State secretary J. Kishore Babu led the protest in which members of central trade unions, including Centre of Indian Trade Union(CITU) and All India Trade Union Congress(AITUC) and Indian National Trade Union Congress(INTUC) took part in large numbers.
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