High drama prevailed when a man allegedly attempted self-immolation and tried to set afire a Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MP at a rally on Wednesday upset over denial of party ticket to his leader for the assembly polls, resulting in burns to 16 people, including himself, police said.
Lok Sabha member Balka Suman, however, was shielded by other party workers and escorted to safety when the disgruntled man, after dousing himself with petrol, allegedly attempted to pour it on the MP, a senior police official said.
The man identified as R Gattaiah and 15 others were injured when the petrol spilled onto a lamp at the rally venue in Mancherial district, triggering a fire, the official said.
A police inspector and two women were among those injured.
"Gattaiah suffered over 60 per cent burns while others suffered simple burns in the incident. All of them have been admitted to different hospitals," the police official told PTI.
Balka Suman who has been nominated by the TRS to contest from Chennur in the upcoming assembly elections, alleged it was an attempt on his life by a follower of sitting Chennur MLA Nallala Odelu as he had been "denied" ticket.
Nallala Odelu, a former government whip, had locked himself up in his house on Tuesday for several hours along with his family members demanding that he be renominated from the constituency by the party.
Later addressing party workers, Balka Suman said "KCR (caretaker Chief Minister and TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao) announced my name for Chennur seat. When someone tried to throw matchstick on me, my supporters, party workers and gumen saved me. I want to tell those attempting on my life to stop all this 'drama."
He said he would definitely contest from Chennur as a TRS candidate adding "it is not my decision but it is the decision of KCR.