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Seemandhra region shuts down: Chiranjeevi quits

Tirupati/Hyderabad, Oct 4 (): Seemandhra region which includes Tirumala temple in Tirupati has been affected as devotees have to walk up to the Tirumala temple , since demonstrators have blocked roads to protest against the union cabinet’s decision to divide Andhra Pradesh to create a separate Telangana state.

All roads to the temple town are blocked. BJP’s Sushma Swaraj tweeted her support to Telangana people and said it was their struggle that won the statehood. Protesters were seen removing flags of all political parties; they did not want any political divide and said they were doing this to show unity as one community against the creation of Telangana.

The Seemandhra region which consists of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema is now witnessing a two-day bandh in all 13 districts after the Union cabinet cleared the Telangana plan last evening. Traffic on National highways are blocked, educational institutions are closed, and elected representatives including Union ministers and legislators from the region are preparing to quit over since their demand that Andhra Pradesh must not be split was not taken into account. Soon after the cabinet approved the plan to create India’s 29th state, Seemandhra erupted in protest.

Public transport is off the roads. Buses plying in to and going out of the state have also been affected. Vehicles have been banned from going to Tirupati temple from the town downhill. In Vijayawada, around 300 people converged on the Benz Circle today morning and burnt tires. Commercial establishments and offices in the city will remain closed for two days.

The united forum for united Andhra has called for 48 hour bandh but Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress has also called for a 72-hour bandh across Seemandhra. He said the cabinet decision hurt him more than his 16-month jail term. Legislators and State-Central ministers are facing pressure to resign to force the Congress government into reconsidering its decision. Union tourism minister K Chiranjeevi faxed his resignation to Prime Minister yesterday night.

Two other union ministers Kotla Surya Pratap Reddy and Pallam Raju have offered to quit but PM told them not act in haste. MP’s Sai Prathap, Arun Kumar, Anantha Venkatram Reddy have also offered to resign. Andhra Pradesh region ministers will meet today at the office of the Chief Minister, Kiran Kumar Reddy, who too is against the decision. The Cabinet’s resolution on the creation of Telangana will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee, who will send it to the Andhra Pradesh state legislature. This procedure is only a formality.

Though the Andhra Pradesh Assembly by the numbers supporting Seemandhra is bigger than Telangana can vote it out but constitutionally it is meant to provide feedback on the resolution, the Union Government is not obliged to accept its opinion. In Hyderabad, all ministers from Seemandhra have already said they will ensure that the resolution is defeated in the state legislature.

The sharing of Hyderabad as a shared capital for 10 years, and after which it will belong to Telangana is the bone of contention since it means the prosperous IT hub and real estate which is mostly owned by cash rich agriculturists and miners from Seemandhra will be under Telangana. Congress MP L Rajagopal is moving the Supreme Court challenging Union Cabinet’s decision to divide Andhra Pradesh.

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