Aam Admi Party (AAP) workers on Wednesday fought running battles with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists outside the saffron party headquarters in Delhi and Lucknow after AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal was briefly detained by police during his Gujarat visit.
In another incident, Kejriwal's car was damaged in Gujarat during a clash between the two groups in retaliation to the protests in Delhi.
The violence on the streets came on a day the Election Commission announced the Lok Sabha poll schedule.
Kejriwal, who began a 4-day tour of Gujarat, was briefly detained on his tracks for alleged violation of the model code of conduct by travelling in a long carcade. Shortly later, he was allowed to go.
Accusing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of getting scared of Kejriwal and initiating police action, AAP workers stormed the BJP head office on Ashoka Road in central Delhi protesting against Kejriwal's detention in Radhanpur in North Gujarat where he has gone to "inspect" the developments claimed by the chief minister.
The rival sides attacked each other indulging in pelting of stones. Plastic chairs were hurled from inside BJP office on the protesters outside. Police which reached the spot used water canons to disperse the warring activists. At least five people from either side were injured, police said while adding that an FIR will be filed in the case.
Nalin Kohli, a BJP office bearer, accused journalist-turned AAP leader Ashutosh, a candidate in Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency, of engineering the trouble and demanded his arrest. However AAP leaders hit back saying it was the BJP activists who provoked violence.
In Lucknow, workers of Aam Aadmi Party, armed with brooms, clashed with lathi-wielding activists of BJP and fought pitched street battles outside BJP office on Vidhan Sabha Marg in protest against detention of Kejriwal.
Around three dozen AAP workers staged a demonstration outside the BJP headquarters and allegedly attacked the saffron party office with bricks, drawing retaliation as BJP workers, carrying canes, took to the streets.
Several people were mercilessly beaten up by canes after being knocked down on the road as rival groups chased each other away.
Far away in Kairavh village in Gujarat, the windshield of the car carrying Kejriwal was damaged when BJP workers attacked his convoy in retaliation to the protests by AAP workers in front of BJP headquarters in Delhi.
The BJP activists and those accompanying Kejriwal in the cavalcade in Kharohi village of Kutch district clashed when the car windshield was broken.
AAP claimed that when Kejriwal's convoy reached Kharohi, some BJP workers showed black flags. "Using the sticks to which black flags were tied they attacked Kejriwal's car when he had gone there to take a stock of problems people were facing due to a breach in Narmada canal in the area," AAP Gujarat convener Sukhdev Patel said.
Patel also alleged police had not been taking any action.
"Attackers threw a stick on Kejriwal's car due to which the windshield was damaged," former BJP MLA Kanu Kalsaria, who joined AAP and was in the convoy, he said.
AAP's state convenor Sukhdev Patel claimed that Kejriwal was detained but police denied it saying they had only "briefed" Kejriwal on the model code of conduct which came into force on Wednesday with the declaration of poll schedule.