BJP Rajya Sabha member M. Venkaiah Naidu and several other party leaders, including State president G. Kishan Reddy and Bandaru Dattatreya, were arrested here on Sunday when protesting against the Central government’s inaction in the “coal block allotment scam”.

Mr. Naidu was leading the protest rally from the Sundarayya Vignana Kendra (SVK) to the RTC Crossroads. They were taking out the rally as part of the party’s nation-wide call against a ‘scam-ridden’ United Progressive Alliance government.

Earlier, BJP leaders and cadres gathered at the SVK and marched towards the busy crossroads where they wished to stall traffic to draw attention to their demand seeking the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Law Minister Ashwini Kumar.

Those arrested included the party’s Great Hyderabad unit president B. Venkat Reddy, vice-presidents T. Vijayalakshmi and Chinta Sambamurthy, State general secretary T. Achary and former MLAs Baddam Bal Reddy and Ramaswamy. They were all released later.

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Naidu recalled how during Pandit Nehru’s tenure, his Cabinet colleague K.D. Malaviya owned up moral responsibility and quit his position on allegations of misappropriation involving just about Rs. 10,000. He also narrated the example of how an Opposition that included himself as MLA in the past, had stalled the Assembly for nearly three days over a scam that involved cement bags, when the late M. Baga Reddy was Industries Minister.

The country did not need a government that was so scam-ridden, Mr. Naidu declared, regretting that despite scams that ran into hundreds and thousands of crores of rupees, neither Dr. Manmohan nor anyone in the Union government appeared to be ‘concerned’.