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Opposition holds rallies all over State

Special Correspondent

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HYDERABAD : The Telugu Desam and Left parties-sponsored demonstrations in the State on Thursday demanding nine-hour power supply to the agriculture sector were marked by minor incidents of violence in East Godavari and Medak districts.

Hundreds of supporters of the TDP, CPI and CPI (M) participated in dharnas near the electricity sub-stations and held up traffic on several highways. The agitators attacked half-a-dozen sub-stations in East Godavari while over 50 persons were injured in a clash with police at two places in Sangareddy, the district headquarters of Medak. The police arrested the agitators at many places, including the State capital where the CPI picketed Vidyut Soudha, the headquarters of AP Transco and Genco.

The demonstrations were not without lighter moments as a dozen agitators had their heads tonsured at Hindupur in Anantapur and former Power Minister of TDP K. Subbarayudu brought his acting skills to the fore by participating in a street play at Bhimadole in West Godavari. The play depicted how dame luck smiled on a trader who offered to exchange electrical gadgets that had become useless due to power failure for manually operated instruments.

An Assistant Superintendent of Police was among ten policemen who suffered minor injuries as irate CPI (M) activists hurled empty coconut shells at them before the district Collectorate at Sangareddy. The police resorted to a lathicharge here and at a sub-station near the old bus stand that was ransacked.

TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu led a major rally at the main junction on Hyderabad - Bangalore highway in Jadcherla town of Mahbubnagar district. Traffic on the road was disrupted for one-and-a-half hours. Mr. Naidu rode on a bullock-cart up to the venue from a guesthouse and staged a sit-in as the crowds waved lanterns and held torches, symbolic of power crisis.

He appealed to the cadre not to damage electricity installations as it would only purchase them more problems.

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