Protests broke out in Seemandhra Thursday amid reports that a draft resolution for carving out a separate Telangana state will be coming up in the cabinet meeting this evening.
Protesters took to streets in different parts of Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) and laid siege to the residences of union ministers and MPs, demanding their resignation to mount pressure on the central government to keep the state united.
Various groups opposing the state's bifurcation called for flash strikes in some towns. Demonstrators took out rallies and burnt effigies of leaders of Congress parties, union ministers and MPs.
A few statues of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi were vandalized in Visakhapatnam district and other places. Tension prevailed in Anantapur district where hundreds of people came on to the streets to demand that Andhra Pradesh should remain united.
The Samaikyandhra (United Andhra) groups called for a shutdown in Tadipatri, Kadiri and Kalyandurgam. Striking government employees laid siege to the house of central minister D Purandeswari in Visakhapatnam, demanding her resignation.
A similar protest was held in front of another minister, Kishore Chandra Deo, in Vijaynagaram district. In Kurnool district, protesters laid siege to the house of central minister Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy.
Demonstrators also laid siege to the houses of MP Magunta Srinviasula Reddy in Ongole, Chinta Mohan in Tirupati, L Rajagopal in Vijayawada, Botsa Jhansi in Vijaynagaram and U Arun Kumar in Rajhamundry.
Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) Association P Ashok Babu said in Hyderabad that central ministers and MPs would be responsible for the consequences. He warned of strong protests against any move to divide the state.
Government employees, teachers and transport workers are on strike since Aug 13 in all 13 districts of Seemandhra, demanding the Congress party to withdraw its decision to carve out Telangana state. Employees, workers, teachers, students and other sections of people have been protesting for over two months.