The 16-day-old Telangana stir took a new turn on Wednesday with the resignation of 32 MLAs belonging to opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in support of the demand for a separate state.This is the second time TDP MLAs are offering to quit. In July, speaker Nadendla Manohar had rejected their resignation. This time they handed over their papers to assembly secretary S Raja Sadaram.
In Nalgonada, 100 km from Hyderabad, a state minister and two MPs faced the wrath of protesters. They were visiting a hunger strike camp, when they were greeted with chairs, bottles and footwear. Later, police rescued them.
Tension prevailed at many other places as protesters resisted police attempt to arrest them. In the state secretariat striking employees tried to stop others from attending their work.
Meanwhile, as the strike continued and with it the power cuts and transport issues, the common man's sufferings also continued unabated.
The stir has affected all, but more so the daily wage-earners, pushcart vendors, cycle-rickshaw wallahs and people doing odd jobs.
Konda Damodar, 39, a plumber, sat in front of the Hyderabad Central Mall at the busy Panjagutta crossroads, in the hope that someone would hire him. He has been covering the 7.5 km distance between his house and the mall every day for the last fortnight, and has so far made only R500. "I am for Telangana. But how will my family survive if I don't get work?" said Damodar.
The flower business in the region has also taken a hit. "We are incurring huge losses due to the agitation, which restricted the entry of transport carriers and other vehicles into the state capital from coastal parts," said a top official of Flowers and Nursery Owners Welfare Association.
Flowers are also exported to the Middle East and Europe, he said.
(With agency inputs)