BJP, Congress workers clash in Lucknow

Lucknow, Jan 2: A protest by the BJP youth wing outside the Congress party office here Thursday set off a pitched battle between activists of both parties. Police used water cannons to disperse the violent crowd.

The BJP youth wing members blockaded the office of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee and accused Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and the party leadership of shielding Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in Himachal Pradesh and leaders involved in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in Maharashtra.

Carrying placards and shouting anti-Congress slogans, the BJP workers demanded immediate resignation of the Himachal Pradesh chief minister.

They said the Congress leadership was following double standards on corruption.

“Congress leaders on one hand take credit for passage of laws like the Lokpal, and on the other hand, their leaders are neck deep in graft,” said Rahul Kothari, a leader of the BJP Yuva Morcha.

When BJP workers tried to burn an effigy of Rahul Gandhi, Congress workers pelted stones at them and attacked them with sticks and batons, the BJP’s youth wing media in-charge Satyavrat Tripathi told IANS.

Police earlier tried to stop the BJP workers near Bapu Bhawan and barricaded the Vidhan Sabha road. Police later resorted to water cannons to disperse the demonstrators.

State Congress president Nirmal Khatri criticised the BJP for the demonstration and accused it of hooliganism.

“There is place for peaceful protests in democracy against political opponents but this is sheer violence and unwarranted behaviour,” he told IANS.

IANS