The statewide bandh in Andhra Pradesh against the Narendra Modi government’s Budget 2018 has seen widespread response across the state. Government and private buses stayed off the roads, schools and colleges were shut and a majority of shops downed their shutters.
The statewide bandh was called by Left parties, and had also received the backing and participation from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the opposition YSR Congress Party (YSRCP). The ruling TDP did not officially take part, but its workers were part of blockades and demonstrations throughout the state.
The bandh is aimed at protesting the low allocation of funds to the state in the Union Budget. It also comes within a week of the TDP quitting the NDA over the granting of special status to Andhra Pradesh.
The bandh has largely been a success so far. Activists blocked highways at a number of places and reports said shopkeepers voluntarily downed their shutters. There has been a near-total shutdown in cities like Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Rajamundhry among others.
However, limited attendance has been reported from government offices and railway services remain unaffected. Also, bus services to and from the hill shrine of Tirupati are still functional, reports said.
The issue of allocations from the Centre also figured prominently in the Budget Session of the Andhra Pradesh Legislature. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had spoken in the Legislative Council of the wide disparity between the tax revenue the Centre was earning from Andhra Pradesh and the amount it actually allotted to the state.