Hyderabad, Dec 17 : For the seventh consecutive day, protests continued in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions against the proposed separate statehood to Telangana region, affecting normal life.
Rallies, meetings, sit-ins, road blockades and hunger strikes rocked most parts of the 13 districts in the two regions.
The state-owned Road Transport Corp (RTC) is running partial bus services in the two regions while the movement of private buses and goods vehicles remained affected on highways due to the protests.
Railway authorities said there was no major disruption of train services. Protestors stopped two trains in Nellore and Krishna districts but the police dispersed them to restore the train traffic.
Cutting across party lines, more leaders Thursday joined the movement for a "Samaikya Andhra" or "United Andhra" by launching an indefinite hunger strike.
Tension prevailed in Vijaywada town when police arrested a legislator of the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
As the condition of D. Umamaheshwar Rao and two other TDP leaders deteriorated on the fifth day of their hunger strike, they were arrested and shifted to a hospital.
Police said they arrested several TDP workers when they tried to prevent the police from arresting their leaders.
In protest, the TDP called for a shutdown in the city and other parts of the district. Shops, business establishments, petrol bunks and educational institutions were closed in the city, a major business hub.
The indefinite fast by Congress MP from Vijayawada L. Rajagopal and his supporters entered the third day.
Normalcy has still not been restored in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam as leaders of several parties and students of Andhra University continued their relay hunger strike.
In Guntur, TDP leader and former minister K. Sivaprasad Rao launched an indefinite fast to urge the central government to drop its move of carving out a separate Telangana state.
Protests also enveloped Anantapur district of Rayalaseema region for the seventh day. Police arrested TDP legislator P. Keshav when he visited the Sri Krishnadevaraya University to express solidarity with the students.
TDP member of assembly Paritala Sunita and two other leaders remained on fast in Anantapur.
The hunger strike by Congress leader Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy in Kadapa district entered the third day. Vivekananda Reddy, brother of late chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, said he would continue his fast for "United Andhra".
In Chitoor district, veteran actor-producer Mohan Babu joined the "United Andhra" movement. (IANS)
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