Hyderabad, July 23 (IANS) YSR Congress party honorary president Y.S. Vijayamma managed to fast for weavers' problems in Andhra Pradesh's Telangana region amid violent protests by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
Vijayamma faced the fury of Telangana supporters as she sat on fast in Sircilla town of Karimnagar district, about 116 km from here.
The TRS supporters hurled slippers and stones towards the dais, leading to tension in the area. The police baton charged the protestors and arrested them.
The TRS wanted the party to clarify its position on the issue of a separate Telangana state before visiting the region.
TRS supporters pelted stones on Vijayamma's convoy as it reached the outskirts of the town. Activists of two leaders attacked each other with stones as police tried to disperse the clashing groups. At least four vehicles in Vijayamma's convoy were damaged.
TRS, Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) and other groups fighting for separate statehood to Telangana have threatened to disrupt Vijayamma's visit.
Undeterred, Vijayamma, wife of late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, left Hyderabad for Sircilla but faced protests at various places on the route. Raising slogans of "Jai Telangana", the protestors tried to stop her convoy and pelted stones.
Police made elaborate security arrangements. TRS legislators K. Tarakarama Rao and Harish Rao were among those arrested as a precaution.
Vijayamma, who is also a legislator, stopped near Siddipet in Medak district to pay homage at Telangana martyrs' memorial.
TRS has also given a call for daylong shutdown in Sircilla to protest Vijayamma's visit. Unidentified people Sunday night set afire a bus in the town.
TRS appears to be wary of YSR Congress' plans to strengthen itself in Telangana region.
Vijayamma and her daughter Sharmila last month campaigned for party candidate in a by-election in Parkala in Warangal. Their visit passed off smoothly and evoked good public response.
Despite the perceived strong Telangana sentiment, YSR Congress put up a good show in the by-election but lost narrowly to TRS.
Meanwhile, protesting the large-scale arrests of TRS leaders and activists, TRS legislators staged a sit-in at the state secretariat. They alleged that Vijayamma's fast was not out of concern for weavers but was purely a political exercise.
Telangana students' Joint Action Committee has called for closure of all educational institutions in Telangana to protest the arrests.