Congress, BJP workers clash in Telangana during protest against Agnipath scheme

Workers of the BJP and Congress clashed outside the saffron party’s office at Hanamkonda in Telangana on Friday afternoon after Congress activists went there to protest against the Agnipath scheme for recruitment to the armed forces, the police said. The clash comes ahead of the BJP’s national executive meeting in Hyderabad on Saturday.

As the Congress workers sat in protest outside the office, BJP activists tried to chase them away, leading to a scuffle, officers said, adding that the windscreens of several vehicles belonging to those from either side were damaged. Later, the police pulled them apart and restored order.

Congress workers also wanted to organise a protest outside the Hyderabad headquarters of the BJP, but were denied permission by the police.

Meanwhile, the BJP has covered the area around the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) and Novotel Hotel with numerous mega cut-outs of top leaders, banners and flags. Many of the banners highlight the schemes and achievements of the saffron party.

BJP leaders, including the chief ministers of 19 states, Cabinet ministers, former chief ministers and office-bearers have also started arriving in the city ahead of the party’s two-day national executive meeting which starts on July 2 in Hyderabad.

OBC Morcha president Dr K Laxman hailed the decision to hold the party’s national meeting in Hyderabad. “It has generated a lot of enthusiasm among the BJP leaders and workers,” he said. The police have imposed Section 144 till July 4 in the Cyberabad area as an additional security measure. The Cyberabad police commissioner has issued orders prohibiting the assembly of more than five persons in the region. The operation of drones has also been prohibited near the HICC till the evening of July 4.

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) has also put up hundreds of posters and banners across the city with slogans against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

PM Modi to reach Hyderabad on Saturday

BJP national general secretary and party state in-charge Tarun Chugh said PM Narendra Modi would arrive at the Begumpet airport at 2.55 pm on Saturday and will proceed to the Novotel Hotel and HICC to attend the national executive meeting in the evening. In the evening on July 3, Modi will address a public meeting at the Parade Ground in Secunderabad. On July 4, he will proceed to Bhimvaram in Andhra Pradesh to participate in the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju.

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