VIJAYAWADA: Ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and opposition YSR Congress (YSRC) Party supporters kept themselves busy in the capital region of Amaravati ‘cleaning’ roads on Saturday, not out of any Swachch Bharat motive but apparently to ‘cleanse’ paths trod on and therefore defiled by leaders of the opposite party.
At the little Tadepallin village, the rival cleansers came face to face and as tempers flared, police had a tough time keeping them from each other’s throats.
In a protest that began Friday, TDP supporters marched from Malkapuram to Velagapudi and sprinkled turmeric water (a local religious practice) on the roads apparently to cleanse them where YSRC chief Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy toured the previous day.
In a counter protest, YSR Congress activists attempted to similarly cleanse the Prakasam Barrage road which connects the capital region with Vijayawada. That’s the road on which chief minister Chandrababu Naidu travels to work in his temporary office in Vijayawada every day.
Their cleansing protest took them down to Tadepalli at the far end of the barrage road where where they came up against the TDP cleansers. Ranged against each other, they raised slogans, hurled choice epithets and demanded apologies from the other side.
Section 144, the law against assembly of more than four persons, is in force in the amaravati capital region but neither party had the permission of the police to hold their demos.
Police struggled to keep the massed ranks from each other and the rival groups refused to back off.