Dozens of workers of the ruling Congress were detained on Wednesday for trying to force their way into the offices of the BJP in Bhopal despite a ban on large gatherings in the Madhya Pradesh capital. The Congress activists clashed with their BJP counterparts forcing the police to use batons.
The police also a First Information Report or FIR against 58 people for rioting and criminal intimidation during the protest against detention of Congress's Digvijaya Singh and other party leaders in Bengaluru while trying to meet MLAs who have rebelled against the group.
BJP spokesperson Rahul Kothari alleged the Congress workers carrying rods and sticks tried to make their way into the BJP state HQ and hit them on his head along with other BJP leaders present outside the party office, a charge refuted by the ruling Congress.
"We have registered an FIR against Rahul Rathore among eight unidentified persons and 50 unidentified persons on the complaint of BJP district president Vikas Virani," senior police officer Bhupendra Singh told news agency PTI.
The incident took place just a few hours after some Congress workers were detained for demonstrating outside the Raj Bhawan in the afternoon, while the 90-odd Congress MLAs were meeting the governor Lalji Tandon inside for demanding the safe return of their party MLAs, who the Congress alleges have been held captive by BJP leaders in Bengaluru to topple the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh.
Some of the protesters were detained, but no one was hurt during the demonstration, police sources said.
"The Congress government's exit is imminent in Madhya Pradesh, which is why they attacked our office. We were sitting quietly when protesters hurled stones and rained lathis on us,'' Mr Kothari alleged.
Refuting Mr Kothari's claims, state Congress spokesman Bhupendra Gupta said his party workers did go there (BJP office), but were detained by the police.
"They went to protest against the BJP-led Karnataka government for not allowing our leader Digvijaya to meet our MLAs in Bengaluru,'' he said.
The BJP is cooking up stories and creating drama over a peaceful protest, Mr Gupta alleged.
High drama unfolded on Wednesday morning when Mr Singh staged a protest near the resort in Bengaluru where rebel Congress MLAs are staying, accusing the police of not allowing him to meet the legislators.
The senior Congress leader, who was detained by the police, accused the BJP of holding the MLAs captive and threatened to go on a ''hunger strike''.
The BJP has consistently denied holding the rebel Congress MLAs in captivity and claimed they are in the Karnataka capital on their own.
After former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the Congress, 22 MLAs of the ruling party, also submitted their resignations, pushing the 15-month-old Kamal Nath government to the brink of collapse.
Of these, the speaker has accepted the resignations of six MLAs.