Andhra Pradesh observes bandh for special category status

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The YSR Congress Party on Monday accused Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu of "exposing his true colours" by trying foil the state-wide bandh seeking Special Category Status (SCS).

The request comes a day after normal life came to a standstill in Andhra Pradesh on Monday as the day-long shutdown called in demand for the special status category to the state evoked near total response. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses will operate only till the state border in the wake of the statewide bandh, which means daily commuters are most likely to face problems as autos and taxis won't be easily available.

The Jagan Reddy-led YSRC hit back, accusing the Chief Minister of adopting "double standards".

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Asserting that he contested from Dhone against the families of stalwarts such as former Chief Minister K. Vijayabhaskar Reddy and Deputy Chief Minister K.E. Krishnamurthy on the advice of TDP founder N.T. Rama Rao and won as MLA for three terms, he said Mr. Naidu owed an explanation for insulting him.

Reacting to the shutdown call, Naidu said bandhs were not welcome as they hamper development. "The ruling Telugu Desam Party government in Andhra Pradesh, being a [former] coalition partner in the National Democratic Alliance Cabinet, did not pursue the matter", he claimed. He said Naidu should understand that bandh was a form of a democratic protest and he had no right to oppose it.

Protests by MPs from Andhra Pradesh over the special status issue caused a near washout of the Budget Session of Parliament in March and April. The Opposition parties such as YSR Congress Party, Congress and Left parties have extended their support to the bandh.