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Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Top leaders of BJP arrested Top leaders of BJP arrested

Special Correspondent

Police foil bid to take out rally to Secretariat Police foil agitators' bid to take out rally to the Secretariat



UNRELENTING STIR: Members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, led by M. Venkiah Naidu, protest near the Indira Park in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

HYDERABAD: The BJP vice-president, M. Venkaiah Naidu, the State president, N. Indrasena Reddy, and several other party leaders and activists, including women, were arrested near Indira Park here on Wednesday when they tried to take out a rally towards the Secretariat protesting against the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel.

B. Dattatreya, S.V. Seshagiri Rao, G. Kishan Reddy, K. Laxman, Baddam Bal Reddy and Swaroopa Rani were also arrested. Earlier the police put up roadblocks and stationed several vans across the road to prevent slogan-shouting activists from taking out a procession towards the Secretariat. Earlier BJP leaders addressed hundreds of flag-waving and placard-carrying activists near the park.

The police said they made preventive arrests of more than 500 BJP functionaries.

Charge against UPA

Addressing the activists, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu accused the UPA Government of betraying the common man and reneging on its promise of bettering their lot. Before effecting 30.2 per cent hike petrol, the prices of sugar, coal, steel, pulses and vegetables were increased. The increase in prices of petroleum products would lead to a hike in transport charges and this in turn would have a cascading effect.

Charging the Left parties, the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, and the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, of shedding "crocodile tears," he expressed surprise over the dharnas organised by the Communists on the issue. Instead, they should have told the UPA Government that they would withdraw support if the prices were hiked.

Referring to the Left parties' stand that they would not like to destabilise the Government and pave the way for the BJP to come to power, he said: " We will guarantee that we will sit in the Opposition." The BJP would confront the Government in Parliament and chalk out a programme to intensify the agitation at its national executive in Chennai next month.

Mr. Dattatreya declared that the agitation would continue till there was a rollback and accused the Left of failing to protect the interests of the working class.

Mr. Indrasena Reddy accused the State Government of "surreptitiously" increasing the sales tax on petrol and diesel while reducing it on aviation fuel.

Meanwhile, Mr. Seshagiri Rao and Mr. Laxman condemned the arrests and said that their agitation could not be suppressed by such measures.

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