ONGOLE: Amid high drama marked by clashes between YSRC and TDP activists, elections to the Prakasam Zilla Parishad chairman and vice-chairman posts were postponed Saturday. The police had to resort to lathicharge to control the clashing mobs. Collector GSRKR Vijay Kumar postponed the elections after the situation turned unmanageable when over three YSRC ZPTC members cross voted to TDP.
The trouble began as Kambham, Karamchedu and Kottapatnam ZPTC members belonging to YSRC sat in seats allotted to TDP at the Zilla Parishad Hall. YSRC leaders, who were already apprehensive of TDP trying to poach on YSRC ZPTC members, tried to bring their people into their fold. But their attempts failed as TDP leaders prevailed upon the defectors. As a result, heated arguments ensued between TDP and YSRC leaders at the ZP Hall before the collector. YSRC MLA from Addanki G Ravi Kumar and transport minister Sidda Raghava lodged a complaint with the collector. Meanwhile, as news about the scuffle between YSRC and TDP leaders spread outside, TDP workers tried to barge into the ZP office. TDP leaders Karanam Balaram, K Venkatesh and Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy tried to enter the ZP office. As rumours of YSRC leaders attacking TDP Ongole MLA Damacherla Janardhan spread, TDP cadres turned violent. To control them, the police resorted to cane charge.
All eyes were on the Prakasam ZP chairman elections as both YSRC and TDP leaders have been making all attempts to wrest the ZP seat for the past few day. As expected, TDP being a ruling party, has succeeded in bringing three YSRC ZPTC members into its fold, which led to tension in Ongole. While there are total 56 ZPTCs in Prakasam, YSRC won 31 and TDP 25.
The TDP’s strength has increased to 28 after the defection of 3 YSRC ZPTC members.