Is he Andhra Bhagat Singh or freedom fighter Alluri Seetharama Raju? The pepper spray act of Lagadapati Rajagopal has turned him into a hero of the Seemandhra campaign. TV channels beamed paid ads of Lagadapati and hailed him as 'Andhra's Bhagat Singh' and 'Alluri Seetharamaraju (the tribal crusader against British).
On Twitter, filmmaker Ramgopal Verma congratulated Rajagopal and said "Bhagat Singh fought for India in court and in same breath Lagadapati displayed his valor for Samaikyandhra in parliament."
The pepper-act of Rajagopal provided the much needed boost and inspiration to the dull dharna and campaign of the 4.5 lakh state govt employees who had been staging a lame bandh and pen down strike in 13 districts for week now.
"We thought we might have to end our strike without political support. Rajagopal's spray act has given us some morale boost," said Ashok Babu, the AP NGO president.
Meanwhile, rallies and demonstrations against division of Andhra Pradesh marked the second day of bandh in Seemandhra, where normal life was today partially affected but the situation remained largely violence-free. The bandh was observed in 13 districts of the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema (together called Seemandhra) and it evoked a partial response, affecting normal life in some parts of the region for the second consecutive day, police said. The shutdown call was given by YSR Congress, APNGOs (a body of Government employees) and pro-united AP outfit Samaikya Rashtra Parirakshana Vedika against the tabling of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill (Telangana Bill) in the Lok Sabha.
— With agency inputs