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Left calls off hunger strike, vows to intensify protests against power tariff hike in Andhra Pradesh

Hyderabad The leaders of Left parties in Andhra Pradesh, who have been on an indefinite fast against power tariff hike since Saturday, today called off their stir only to launch it more aggressively next month.

The leaders decided to hold one-day mass sit-ins in all the districts and mandal headquarters across the state from April 1 and are also mulling to take their agitation on the issue to the next level by organising a state-wide shutdown next month.

AP CPI state secretary K Narayana, his CPI(M) counterpart B V Raghavulu and other Left leaders had begun the indefinite fast on Saturday demanding the rollback of hike in power tariff, suspension of collection of fuel surcharge adjustment and improvement in power supply.

The fasting leaders were forcibly shifted to hospitals last night by the police as the condition of some of them started deteriorating.

"A proposal to organise a 'bandh' on April 9 to mount pressure on the government is under consideration," CPI State Secretary K Narayana told PTI.

The Left parties also welcomed the indefinite hunger strike launched yesterday by about 24 TDP MLAs.

"All opposition parties, though they have differences with each other, are now taking up protests on power issues. We feel this is our first victory," he said.

Meanwhile, Congress Chief Whip in the Assembly G Venkata Ramana Reddy today said that the government was purchasing power at the rate of Rs 12 per unit and is ready to purchase more for the sake of people.

He dismissed the fast by TDP MLAs as "not sincere".

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