HYDERABAD: Patience and the ability to take political criticism from the BJP appears to be running thin in the TRS, with ruling party workers on Monday attacking a public meeting addressed by state BJP chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar in Devaruppala of Jangaon district.
Ruling party workers threw stones and attacked BJP workers which resulted in a clash between workers of the two sides that left several injured.
Infuritated, Sanjay called Director-General of Police M. Mahendar Reddy from the spot on the phone and demanded immediate action against those who started the clash. He accused the police of not acting despite having advance knowledge of TRS trouble-mongers planning to disrupt his Praja Sangrama Yatra.
Warning the DGP to “not test the patience of the BJP” by allowing TRS goons to run riot, Sanjay asked Mahendar Reddy if the “police in the state was receiving salaries from the pocket of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, or from Pragathi Bhavan.” He also slammed the Warangal police commissioner and accused him of behaving like a TRS activist instead of controlling law and order.
The incident occurred days before Telangana is set to see two high profile political rallies – one to be addressed by Chief Minister .K Chandrashekar Rao, and another by Union home minister Amit Shah — this coming weekend as the TRS and the BJP battle for Munugode Assembly seat.
TRS workers began pelting stones while Sanjay was addressing the crowd and questioned the TRS government about how jobs it gave the unemployed youth. Local TRS workers and leaders, present near the dais, got into an argument with BJP workers at the spot, resulting in heated arguments between the two sides.
It soon turned into a clash with TRS pelting stones at the BJP workers. In turn, the BJP workers retaliated by beating some TRS workers with sticks. The clashes soon spread to two other locations in the area with TRS workers attacking and damaging vehicles of BJP women leaders who came from Medchal district to attend the event.
It was more than half an hour before the police reacted and tried to separate the clashing sides by caning workers.
Party workers from both sides sustained injuries, with some suffering bleeding wounds on their heads. The injured were shifted to the government area hospital in Jangaon for treatment.
Minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao, reacting to the clash, said, “Not only on the TRS workers, but the BJP goondas pelted stones,” and used rods and sticks in the clash. The government will punish everyone responsible for the incident. He was speaking after visiting the hospital to meet with injured TRS workers.
Dayakar Rao said BJP workers started the clash. “Sanjay was accompanied by 500 goondas,” he alleged. “When Sanjay made baseless comments against CM and his family, and against me, some TRS workers objected which resulted in an argument.”
The minister’s comments were flayed by BJP national vice-president D.K. Aruna. In a statement, she demanded the immediate filing of a case by the police on Dayakar Rao for instigating the clash. “It is a peaceful padayatra with permission from the police,” she said, and warned the TRS saying not to test BJP’s patience.
Others who condemned the attack on the padayatra were BJP’s Jangaon district president Dasamanth Reddy who said Dayakar Rao had hinted earlier that there could be resistance to Sanjay’s padayatra, the police did nothing to prevent the incident.
Also condemning the incident were BJP leaders former MLA Ch Ramachandra Reddy, Dr Sravan Dasoju, party general secretary Dugyala Pradeep Kumar, and spokespersons N.V. Subhash, Rani Rudrama, and J. Sangappa....