Hyderabad: A nationwide shutdown called by the opposition to protest the government`s economic measures evoked mixed response in Andhra Pradesh Thursday.
Buses of the state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corp (APSRTC) went off the roads in most parts of the state. Road transport halted with over four lakh trucks joining the strike since midnight.
A section of auto drivers in Hyderabad and other towns too joined the strike.
The shutdown call evoked partial response in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, parts of coastal Andhra while it was near total in rest of the state.
APSRTC buses in the state capital plied as usual. Shops and petrol bunks remained opened but almost all schools and colleges were closed.
Shops, businesses and educational institutions were closed in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur, Nellore, Tirupati, Kurnool, Karimnagar and other towns.
Police arrested scores of opposition workers trying to stop buses and forcing shops to down shutters.
The APSRTC ran buses with police protection in some districts of coastal Andhra, where the strike call evoked mixed response.
Activists of main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), CPI, CPI-M, BJP and TRS laid siege to APSRTC depots since early Thursday to prevent buses from coming out.
Those arrested include TDP leader and former Hyderabad mayor T. Krishna Reddy, CPI state secretary K. Narayana and CPI-M leader P. Madhu.
State BJP president G. Kishan Reddy and senior leader Bandaru Dattatreya were arrested.
Police also took into custody legislators of TDP and Left parties while blocking traffic in front of the assembly building.
YSR Congress party legislators also staged a separate protest, demanding roll back of hike in diesel price and cap on LPG cylinders. They were also arrested by the police.
Earlier, legislators of TDP and Communist parties cooked food on firewood at Gun Park in front of the assembly.
The opposition stalled the proceedings of the state assembly.
There was a massive traffic jam at L. B. Nagar on the city outskirts with the opposition parties taking out a rally.
Osmania University postponed all examinations and admissions to PhD. Other universities also put off the examinations in view of the shutdown.
IT companies in Hyderabad were not hit by the strike as private vehicles and cabs plied as usual.