The Bharat Bandh called by the agitating farmers on Friday
took off in Andhra Pradesh with most political parties coming in support including the state government.
Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Left parties and others extended their support to the Bandh called by the farmers across the country.
Commercial establishments remained closed even in small towns.
“Communist party leaders came in the morning and told us not to open the shops till at least 1 p.m. in the afternoon,” said Srinu, a shopkeeper in West Godavari district told IANS.
He said even the auto rickshaws which replenish their goods were not plying on Friday.
Andhra Pradesh Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkatramaiah had already announced that the state government will extend support to the Bandh call.
“AP government extends complete support to the farmers’ Bandh and the Visakhapatnam steel plant agitation,” said Venkatramaiah.
He called on the people to protest peacefully and said that everybody should participate voluntarily till 1 p.m. on Friday.
“Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government has also decided not to run the APSRTC buses till 1 p.m. on Friday,” he said.
However, the road transport corporation buses will resume services after 1 p.m. so that public life will not get completely paralysed.
On Wednesday, the Left parties took out a rally in Visakhapatnam to make the Bandh a success and those party leaders called on the Central government to take back the decision of privatizing the port city’s steel plant.
“Narenda Modi should stop privatization efforts and immediately end the process of privatizing public sector companies. We will not just watch the steel plant getting privatized which we procured after a great struggle,” said the Left leader.
He also called for the immediate cancellation of the farm laws which will harm the farmers and demanded price control on petrol, diesel and LPG.