Hyderabad (PTI): A massive fire broke out at the heritage Secunderabad Club building here in the early hours of Sunday damaging most parts of the structure, police said. However, there were no casualties, they said.

A police patrol team noticed the blaze at around 3.15 AM and alerted the Fire department and seven fire engines including one from the Army were rushed to the spot and flames were extinguished by 6 AM, a police official told PTI.

It was a major fire and based on preliminary investigation the cause of the fire is suspected to be a short circuit, the official said.

Visuals on social media showed the building completely engulfed in flames.

According to Secunderabad Club website, the Secunderabad Club was established by the British in 1878 and it is one of the oldest clubs in India. Located on a 22-acre campus, the Club's century old Main Club House, carefully and aesthetically maintained, has been given Heritage status by the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority.

The club boasts of dining, reading, indoor and outdoor sports with its own cricket field and many recreational facilities. It may be the only members club to have its own dedicated Sailing Annexe, its website says.

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Bengaluru (PTI): Senior politician Basavaraj Horatti, who recently resigned as the Chairman of Karnataka Legislative Council and MLC, on Wednesday joined the BJP.

He joined the party in the presence of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, BJP national General Secretary C T Ravi, Ministers R Ashoka, Govind Karjol, C C Patil among others.

"Basavaraj Horatti has been a member of the Legislative Council for nearly 45 years and has served as its Chairman and Minister. He is a leader with lot of experience, commands a lot of respect and has been working for the cause of teachers. After deciding to join BJP he met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and resigned from his post and has officially joined the party today," Bommai said.

Speaking to reporters after welcoming the senior leader, he said, BJP is organising a huge programme in Hubballi shortly, to mark his induction into the party.

"His joining has strengthened the party. No one has the record of being an MLC for such a long time in the entire country. It has strengthened the party especially in the north Karnataka region. We will use his experience and will give him all the opportunities and respects he deserves," he added.

With this, Horatti, who has been elected as MLC seven successive times from 1980, has ended his long association with the JD(S).

He is likely to be fielded as the BJP's candidate for the upcoming MLC polls from West Teachers' constituency. Considered to be the senior-most MLC, the 76-year-old was seen as a prominent Lingayat face of the JD(S) from north Karnataka.

He had been education minister in the state, and was elected as the Chairman of the Legislative Council in February 2021.