Tension prevailed at Andhra Pradesh state secretariat Friday as the employees of Seemandhra and Telangana nearly came to blows over the bill sent by the centre for formation of separate Telangana state.
Employees of Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) took out a rally when officials were transporting the bill to the state assembly amid tight security. After the convoy of vehicles left for the assembly, Seemandhra employees intensified their protest.
Raising slogans in support of the united state, the employees marched in the high security zone and even set afire an effigy of Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh to protest his visit to Hyderabad.
Employees from Telangana began a counter protest. The secretariat was rocked by the slogans from both the sides. The two groups even tried to push each other.
Police had a tough time in controlling the two groups, who almost clashed in front of 'C' block which houses the office of the chief minister.
Both sides blamed each other for the situation. Leaders of Seemandhra employees said they had been peacefully protesting against the centre's decision for bifurcation of the state. They alleged that the rival group created the trouble.
Telangana Employees Joint Action Committee (JAC) leader V. Srinivas Goud said they would not tolerate Seemandhra employees creating hurdles in formation of Telangana state. He said as a large number of people from Seemandhra are living in Hyderabad, the Seemandhra employees should not do anything which vitiate the peaceful atmosphere.
Srinivas Goud also asked police to be impartial while handling the situation. He wondered how Seemandhra employees were allowed to use loudspeaker, take out rally and burn effigy in a restricted area.