A shutdown is being observed on Friday in Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions of Andhra Pradesh to oppose the bifurcation of the state.
On a day when the state assembly resumed its winter session to debate the bill for formation of a separate Telangana state, normal life came to a halt in 13 districts of Seemandhra, as Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra are together known.
Shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed while buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) were off the roads in response to the shutdown call given by Samaikyandhra Parirakshana Samithi or the committee for protection of united Andhra. It is headed by P Ashok Babu, a leader of government employees of Seemandhra.
Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress party in Seemandhra are supporting the shutdown.
Buses of APSRTC remained confined to depots as protestors staged sit-in outside the depots since early on Friday.
Leaders and activists of the political parties, government employees, students and others took to streets in support of the shutdown. Shouting slogans of 'Jai smaikyandhra' they blocked the vehicles.
The shutdown hit the normal life in Vijayawada, Guntur, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Anantapur, Kurnool and other towns in Seemandhra.