TDP activists attack Shah’s convoy in Tirupati

TDP activists attack Shah’s convoy in Tirupati

After hectic electioneering in Karnataka and an early morning darshan at the Tirumala temple, BJP president Amit Shah faced the heat of the special category status demand on Friday.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) activists attacked Shah's convoy at Alipiri, the foothills of Tirumala in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.

Shah arrived at Tirumala in the early hours of Friday to have darshan of Lord Venkateshwara. The temple authorities led by joint executive officer K S Srinivasa Raju welcomed him and his followers as per protocol and facilitated the darshan.

However, devotees waiting in the queue raised slogans in support of special category status and against the BJP as Shah was coming out of the temple.

As Shah was returning to Tirupati, a large number of TDP workers wearing black badges and holding party flags laid siege to his convoy at the Alipiri-Garuda check-post. While some tried to block the route by squatting on the road, others tried to storm the vehicles by raising slogans like “Amit Shah Go Back,” “We want justice” and “Give us special category status.”

A scuffle broke out after the BJP workers got out of their vehicles. Some TDP workers hurled stones at the convoy which damaged the windshield of one of the vehicles.

The security personnel in the convoy and also the police forces at the check-post immediately rushed to the spot and quickly dispersed the agitating TDP activists, providing safe passage for Shah.

The Tirupati police took into custody some TDP workers who were suspected to have attacked the BJP president’s convoy.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu expressed anger over the incident and warned TDP cadres against resorting to violence. He said that demand for special category status must be made in a peaceful way.

BJP MLC Somu Veerraju blamed Naidu for the protest, alleging that it was a planned attack.