Dozens of opposition leaders and activists were arrested for the second consecutive day on Tuesday when they marched to the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly in Hyderabad, demanding that the government address the problems of farmers.
There was tension in the high security area as protesters, including legislators, tried to advance towards the assembly building.
Led by Leader of Opposition and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) N. Chandrababu Naidu, legislators of TDP, Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India-Marxist walked to the assembly from the Goshamahal police station, where they had spent the night in police custody following their arrest Monday.
Leaders and activists of the opposition parties and some farmers' organisations too joined the one kilometre march. As the protesters tried to move towards the assembly gate along with the legislators, police pushed them back. As a mark of protest, they squatted on the road but were arrested.
Inside the assembly, opposition parties stalled the proceedings and encircled the speaker's podium forcing Deputy Speaker N. Manohar to adjourn the house. The members, including those belonging to the Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), were demanding that the government provide immediate relief to farmers who suffered crop losses during recent rains.
The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) legislators also stalled the proceedings demanding the government to withdraw all the cases booked against students during the agitation for separate Telangana state. The government had Monday announced withdrawal of petty cases.
Naidu, who spent the night along with 70 legislators in the police custody, has threatened to launch an indefinite fast from Friday if the government failed to announce a package for the farmers.
Naidu Monday staged a sit-in on the road in front of the assembly building to lodge protests on the "indifference" of the Congress government towards the problems faced by farmers.