Tension prevailed at Indira Park during the meeting when the Congress MP from Vijayawada was pulled down by the protestors, who barged into the venue raising 'Jai Telangana' slogans.
According to witnesses, one of the protestors grabbed the MP's shirt and pulled him down as he was addressing the gathering to oppose the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013 currently being debated by the legislature. The MP was not hurt in the incident.
The protestors, said to be students, were thrashed by the audience and handed over to the police.
The protestors were later thrashed by the audience
Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers' (APNGOs) Association, which represents the government employees of Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra), organised the meeting to oppose the bill sent by the President of India for the legislature's opinion.
Rajagopal, state minister G. Srinivasa Rao and other Seemandhra leaders of Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) also attended the meeting. APNGOs Association had called for a march to the assembly but after the police refused permission, decided to stage a sit-in at Indira Park.
Police, which granted conditional permission for the sit-in, made elaborate security arrangements around Indira Park.
Addressing the meeting, APNGOs Association president Ashok Babu said it was because of their efforts that the bifurcation of the state was delayed. He said the bill should be defeated in the assembly to stall the division.