YSR Cong turns Siricilla into embattled town

Siricilla, a sleepy Telangana town with 50,000 weavers, on Monday woke up to noisy sloganeering from rivals the YSR Congress Party (YSRC) and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) vying for their attention.

The town was blanketed by hundreds of local police and several columns of CRPF jawans, as YSRC honorary president Y S Vijayalakshmi was visiting the town for a day-long “Cheneta Deeksha” to highlight the plight of weavers in the town, who had been taking their lives due to debt and loss of livelihood.

However, the TRS and the Telangana JAC were vehemently opposed to her visit since the YSRC is yet to spell out in clear terms its stand on the Telangana statehood issue.

Vijayamma travelled in a convoy of 30 vehicles, mostly Scorpios and Qualis, which was waylaid by the TRS activists en route from Hyderabad outskirts to Siricilla, 30 km away from Karimnagar.

Many activists of the YSRC and TRS fought a pitch battle at Jakkapur village, about 30 km away from Sircilla, in neighbouring Medak district.

Activists also pelted Vijayamma’s convoy with stones and eggshells, breaking the windscreens of about a dozen vehicles. Security was provided along the route to prevent violence. An unperturbed Vijayamma continued her journey to Siricilla, where she charged the authorities with being indifferent to their plight.

Addressing the crowd at the end of her day long ‘Diksha’ the YSRC leader said both herself and her late husband were great fans of handloom clothes.

“YSR’s special handloom dhotis were appreciated by both (former) US President George Bush and Dr Abdul Kalam,” she said.

Meanwhile, police made house arrest of two TRS legislators K T Rama Rao and T Harish Rao ahead of Siricilla dharna and detained hundreds of TRS workers in Karimnagar and Medak districts.

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