- The event was held to protest glitches in Telangana intermediate results.
- Squabble broke out over a party leader's chair being given to another.
- Senior party leaders broke the fight amid peals of laughter from crowd.
It was a battle for the chair, but of a different kind.
Two Congress leaders came to blows at a protest meet organised by opposition parties at Hyderabad's Indira Park today, with video cameras covering every push and shove much to the party's embarrassment. The matter was resolved only after senior Congress leaders intervened, reminding those involved that the tiff was not helping the party's image in the public eye.
According to sources, the incident occurred while senior Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao was speaking to those gathered at the spot on alleged irregularities in the intermediate examination board. Around that time, his party colleague -- Nagesh Muddiraju -- reportedly offered Mr Rao's chair to another leader who had just arrived at the scene. A visibly angered Mr Rao responded by pushing Nagesh Muddiraju, who -- in turn -- grabbed him by the collar. Before long, they had collapsed onto the floor in a heap, still trading blows.
#WATCH Telangana: A scuffle broke out between Congress leaders V Hanumantha Rao and Nagesh Mudiraj during the protest by opposition parties today in Hyderabad against state govt over the issue of state board intermediate results. pic.twitter.com/lyUsD8ZDKU— ANI (@ANI) May 11, 2019
It took a while for other leaders at the spot to separate the two, amid laughter from the crowd and camera flashes from photojournalists covering the event. They were sternly reminded that the event was organised with the objective of supporting intermediate board students and not settling petty scores.
Leaders of various opposition parties had gathered in Hyderabad to protest the K Chandrasekhar Rao government's alleged inaction over goof-ups in the Telangana intermediate examination results. Over three lakh students had failed in the examinations conducted by the Board of Intermediate Education in the state -- allegedly resulting in 25 suicides. A committee formed by the state government identified "bubbling errors" in the optical mark recognition (OMR) sheets that led to incorrect evaluation of examination papers.
This is not the first time Congress leaders have traded blows over personal misunderstandings, embarrassing a party that's trying to project a united front against the BJP. In January, two Karnataka Congress leaders -- Anand Singh and JN Ganesh -- entered into a fight while being sheltered at a resort outside Bengaluru amid fears of poaching by the BJP. Anand Singh had to be hospitalised with a black eye and "blunt injuries".