"The TDP chief wanted to know why TRS president Rao kept quiet when the previous government announced national status for Polavaram and also declared that the villages would be merged with Andhra Pradesh."
Hyderabad, May 29 - The day-long shutdown called by the TRS Thursday to protest the central government's ordinance to hand over 200 villages of Telangana to Andhra Pradesh for the Polavaram irrigation project, evoked near total response and affected normal life.

Buses of the state road transport corporation went off the roads in all 10 districts including Hyderabad. Shops, hotels and business establishments were also closed in many parts of Telangana.

The shutdown was called by Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K. Chandrasekhar Rao, also Telangana's chief minister-designate, to protest an ordinance issued by the centre to transfer 205 villages of Khammam district of Telangana to Andhra Pradesh.

The chief minister-designate termed the ordinance unconstitutional and said the centre cannot take such a step without consulting the two states, which will formally come into being June 2.

TRS leaders sat in protest outside transport corporation depots since early Thursday to prevent buses from coming out.

Bus services from Hyderabad to various destinations in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were suspended. The city transport services in Hyderabad and Secunderabad were also hit, causing inconvenience to commuters.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), CPI, Telangana Joint Action Committee, unions of government employees, teachers, lawyers and students backed the shutdown.

Leaders of the TRS, CPI, CPI-M and other protesters staged sit-in and road blockades in various parts of the region.

The Board of Intermediate Education postponed advanced supplementary examinations of Class 11 and 12 that were scheduled Thursday.

A complete shutdown was observed in Khammam district, especially in Bhadrachalam and Palvancha divisions. About two lakh people, mostly tribals, who inhabit the villages are strongly opposing the centre's move, which is said to be aimed at avoiding an inter-state dispute over the project coming up across the Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh.

The implementation of the project is likely to submerge the villages and to avoid any inter-state dispute, they are being merged with Andhra Pradesh.

TRS leaders targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the ordinance was brought to please his ally Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Meanwhile, Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu told reporters in Delhi that it was the previous Congress-led government which decided to merge the seven mandals of Khammam district with Andhra Pradesh.

He said the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government was only implementing the decision.

However, the BJP unit of Telangana has found fault with the ordinance. BJP Telangana president G. Kishan Reddy said injustice was done to Telangana and urged the centre to reconsider the move.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh's chief minister-elect N. Chandrababu Naidu has asked his Telangana counterpart to avoid politicising the Polavaram project and making provocative statements.

The TDP chief wanted to know why TRS president Rao kept quiet when the previous government announced national status for Polavaram and also declared that the villages would be merged with Andhra Pradesh.

Naidu said he would extend full cooperation to Telangana if Chandrasekhar Rao focused on the development of the new state.


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