Andhra Pradesh bandh today to protest against Union budget

Hyderabad: Left parties and other civil society organisations have called a bandh in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday to protest against the “injustice” and less-than-expected fund allocation to the state in the Union budget 2018.

The opposition YSR Congress Party and Congress have also agreed to support the call.

Communist Party of India (CPI) state assistant secretary Satyanarayana Murthy said that the centre did not fulfil any of the promises that were made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act at the time the state got bifurcated from Telangana in 2014. “There was no support for Andhra Pradesh. The 12 educational institutions promised to the state haven’t seen light of the day yet,” he said.

Murthy, who is based in Vishakhapatnam, said his party is ensuring that the bandh call is successful and that all establishments stay shut for the day. “Even otherwise, the Union budget did not even provide proper funds for other projects in the state,” he said.

Both Congress and YSRCP leaders from Andhra Pradesh said their parties are also fully participating in the bandh. On Wednesday, Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan also extended his support to the bandh, but asked his party workers to only protest peacefully and not cause inconvenience to the general public.

Kalyan, who campaigned for the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance during the 2014 general and assembly elections, also called for all stakeholders to join hands and form a joint action committee (JAC) and demand “justice” for the state. In a press conference on Wednesday evening, he criticized the Andhra Pradesh government and the centre with regard to the budget.

The issue of Andhra Pradesh receiving less-than-expected funding has soured relations between the TDP and the BJP, putting the alliance on shaky grounds. Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said last month that he will withdraw from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) fold if the BJP does not want the partnership. Naidu had called for an emergency parliamentary meeting last Sunday where it was decided that all TDP MPs will protest in parliament and demand more funds for Andhra Pradesh from the centre.livemint