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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Anti-Telangana protest: Jagan Reddy arrested

Agencies  New Delhi/Hyderabad, February 17, 2014
First Published: 22:43 IST(17/2/2014) | Last Updated: 04:29 IST(18/2/2014)

YSR Congress chief Jagan Reddy courted arrest on Monday after being stopped from marching towards Parliament to protest the proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

The party’s workers staged sit-ins in the other areas of the national capital earlier in the day.

With the bill for formation of separate Telangana state set to come up for debate in parliament Tuesday, YSR Congress and Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) Association, which represents government employees of Seemandhra, held the protests.

Before being detained by the police, Reddy led the sit-in at Jantar Mantar. Party leaders and large number of activists participated in the protest to demand that the state should not be divided.

Speaking on the occasion, Jagan, as the MP from Kadapa is popular among his supporters, hit out at the Congress, saying it was splitting the state for electoral gains.

He asked all political parties to oppose Telangana bill.

"If they keep quiet, the centre may divide many more states by misusing Article 3 of the Constitution," he said.

Jagan was one of the 16 MPs suspended by Lok Sabha speaker last Thursday when unprecedented clashes among pro and anti-Telangana lawmakers marred the tabling of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation 2013 Bill. An MP from Seemandhra even used pepper spray in the house.

A two-day 'maha dharna' by APNGOs also began Monday at Ramlila Maidan.

Striking government employees from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) and activists fighting for 'samaikyandhra' or united Andhra participated in the protest led by APNGOs Association president P Ashok Babu.

Ashok Babu called upon the protestors to make their voice heard in the national capital.

"We will come to know in another three days if the state gets divided or remains united," he said and asked the central ministers from Seemandhra to stall the bill.

Police have tightened security in view of the protests by YSR Congress and APNGOs.

Policemen were deployed around Ramlila Maidan to prevent protestors from coming out on the roads.

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