New Delhi: A scuffle broke out between protesting jewellers demanding roll back of excise duty on jewellery items and BJP workers after the agitators failed to elicit an assurance from Union minister Venkaiah Naidu.
As Naidu was leaving after inaugurating a public toilet at a East Delhi market, sloganeering protesters, who had met him earlier, wanted a promise from him that the government would consider their demands.
However, police escorted Naidu to his vehicle, which agitators tried to stop.
After he left, BJP workers and protesters clashed, leading to chaos and heavy traffic on the road.
Police, however, managed to control the situation in about 15 minutes.
In his speech, Naidu earlier said, “I had asked them what their demands are. They were not ready to say anything. I sought a representation from them which I could look into and find the solution. I think they did not come for that. They must have come for getting publicity through protest.” About 50 protesters had gathered at the venue and were shouting slogans, ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Excise duty vaapas lo’ (roll back excise duty) as the minister was about to reach the venue in the evening.
Reaching the spot, Naidu got down of the vehicle and asked the security people to let him talk to them.
In a democracy, the minister said everybody has the right to express their views but there should not be ruckus in the public meeting.
In such meeting, he said the people should meet the representative and hand over the representation seeking their demands.
However, a jeweller said they were holding protest peacefully but BJP workers started beating them after Naidu left.