The huge flare-up of emotions in Andhra and Rayalaseema over the Centre's declaration of separate statehood for Telangana is intensifying.
In an unprecedented uprising, the whole of the Andhra and Rayalaseema belts united in a furious backlash against the Centre's last week decision to create a separate Telangana.
From Anantapur and Visakhapatnam to Vijayawada and Kadapa, leaders and ordinary people cutting across professions, economic levels and political affiliations are rallying together in one of the biggest uprisings in India in a long time. Laywers are boycotting courts, teachers are holding candle-light vigils, students are staging rasta-rokos and fasts-to-death, and there are bandhs, successful almost without exception, all over the belts.
The condition of the 4 students who have been on a fast in Visakhapatnam has turned worrisome, and a student had already succumbed earlier while on fast. AU students have been joined in their agitation by the auto drivers' union, who have started on a 1,000-auto rally, and by Muslim minority organizations.
Students are agitating in large numbers at the University, and large numbers of police have surrounded the place, turning the situation tense. The 1-day international cricket match between India and Sri Lanka scheduled for 18 December has been shifted to Nagpur.
Ananthapur continued to be a hotbed, with a DEO's office burnt, local Congress leaders holding a large rally and rasta-roko, lawyers on a very vocal agitation, 50 leaders of all parties arrested, electronic media journalists on a dharna, and students of Krishnadevaraya University have staged a rasta roko.
Srikakulam has seen a large chunk if its municipality members resign. In Kadapa, a district bandh has been observed by local Congress leaders against Lagadapati's arrest, 942 buses have stopped plying across the district, and an ex-sarpanch died of shock watching news on TV. In Kurnool, a youngster called Ramu committed suicide, and locals stormed the Collectorate with his body.
Vijayawada has seen a shut-down of all educational institutions today, and the Joint Action Committee for Samaikyandhra has lent support to the fasting TDP leaders. 8 TDP corporators and the floor leader have resigned, too.
The fasts of students of the Nagarjuna University in Guntur have reached the second day. Lawyers in Kurnool have gone on a 1-week strike. Amasa Rajasekhar Reddy has resigned as DCCB Chairman in Chittoor, and teachers are holding a candle-light rally. In Nellore, the washermen's union has stated that they will not wash the clothes of MLAs, MLCs and MPs who have not resigned.
KCR and Rosaiah have been objects of uniform revulsion, with their effigies burnt all over the Andhra and Rayalaseema districts. Government employees of Seema and Andhra have decided to go on a state-wide agitation from the 22nd.
Hyderabad is turning tense, too. Lagadapati Rajagopal, arrested outside the airport in the morning and released, went on a march from Assembly to Olympic Bhavan this evening, and the police surrounded him in huge numbers outside the Assembly instantly. The situation turned quite tense, and Lagadapati then went to the Lal Bahadur stadium and started his fast there. There is a huge police presence all around the area. With Lagadapati emerging the hero of the United Andhra (Samaikyandhra) movement, his effigies are being burnt all across Telangana.
In other interesting news, Naidu has his cup of woes full, too. The TDP itself is on the verge of bifurcating, with the Telangana leaders of the party asking for a separate branch of the party.