JAMMALAMADUGU (KADAPA): The Jammalamadugu Assembly constituency in Kadapa district, known for its faction violence (more so during elections), is yet again in the grip of terror in the wake of a volatile situation that developed following the murder of former minister and YSRC leader YS Vivekananda Reddy.
C Adinarayana Reddy, the TDP candidate for Kadapa Lok Sabha seat, is being squarely blamed for the murder.
An uneasy calm prevails in the constituency, particularly in more than a dozen villages that owe allegiance to both the leaders.
“Today, we do not know what may happen in the next hour. The situation is unpredictable and violence may flare up anytime,” K Srinivasulu Reddy of Jammalamadugu observed during this correspondent’s visit to the area. On Wednesday, a fight broke out between TDP and YSRC activists, with the former setting ablaze a car belonging to a YSRC leader. YSRC leaders’ attempts to poach a ‘disgruntled’ TDP leader led to this.
The incident clearly indicates the simmering tension in the town, which, like a powder keg, can explode even with a small spark.
In the faction-hit villages, people are not ready to talk politics, especially with outsiders, fearing serious consequences if they spoke anything wrong.
They even fear to express their opinions on elections and preference for any party. However, not all villages have the same problem as people like M Veera Reddy of Sungumanchipalle (Jammalamadugu) say everything is under control.
“Situation is completely under control and we will act tough against anyone who violate law and order, and create disturbances,” asserted regional DSP Kola Krishnan.
Apart from the local police, a team of 100 CRPF personnel is keeping an eye on the situation and is ready to intervene anytime to keep the law and order intact. To ensure the poll campaigners’ security, shadow parties have been attached to them. Every day identified trouble-mongers and rowdy-sheeters are being counselled, apart from the police periodically conducting cordon and search operations.
Both political parties are blaming each other for the worsened situation. “YSRC, unable to digest the fact that it would not even get the deposit as Adinarayana Reddy and I have joined forces and fighting for TDP’s victory, is creating disturbances,” said P Ramasubba Reddy, TDP candidate for Jammalamadugu Assembly segment.
However, YSRC candidate M Sudheer Reddy, who disagrees with the ruling party’s claims, said: “We are campaigning in a peaceful manner. TDP, feeling insecure, is resorting to scare tactics. We do not fear factionism of Adinarayana Reddy or Ramasubba Reddy. We even dare to campaign in Ramasubba Reddy’s Gundlakunta village and Adinarayan Reddy’s Devagudi.” He was quick to add they would not act like their counterparts and believe in democracy. “People have already decided to vote out the factionists.”
Adinarayana Reddy was previously involved in a faction feud with former minister Ramasubba Reddy. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, after coming to power in 2014, mediated peace between the two warring groups and brought them under one umbrella–the TDP. Jammalamadugu constituency has always remained a stronghold of both Adinarayana Reddy and Ramasubba Reddy families. In the last few months, whenever YSRC leaders or activists came to Jammalamadugu–a stronghold of both the leaders, tense situation prevailed keeping the police department on the tenterhooks. Leaders of both parties were even put under house arrest, forcing YSRC to approach courts. They could visit the villages in the Asembly segment only with the court directions.
Sudheer Reddy, the son of MV Mysoora Reddy’s brother Venkatasubba Reddy, joined the YSRC in 2014. In 2016, he was made the party in-charge of Jammalamadugu after Adinarayana Reddy’s departure. Since then, he has formed his own group by attracting youths and the unemployed. For sometime now, Sudheer Reddy has been trying to make inroads in the villages under the control of Adinarayana Reddy’s and Ramasubba Reddy’s families. To help him, Jagan made his uncle, Vivekananda Reddy, the in-charge of Jammalamadugu. The former MP was murdered when the situation looked favourable for Sudheer Reddy, . The situation has returned to square one.