HYDERABAD: A bizarre video showing actress Hema biting the arm of actor Siva Balaji was widely shared on Sunday. Social media has since been rife with memes about the incident, which perhaps marks the culmination of a long list of unsavoury exchanges between rival factions that contested the Movie Artists’ Association (MAA) elections held on Sunday, October 10, 2021.
The elections, held once every two years, have been the source of much bitterness this year, even as the factions, one led by veteran actor Prakash Raj and the other led by actor Vishnu Manchu, have often grabbed the headlines with their statements and incendiary speeches directed at each other. All the tension over the past weeks appeared to be straight out of a Tollywood drama.
Earlier, Hema had lodged a police complaint against VK Naresh and Karate Kalyani, who contested for the post of joint secretary from Vishnu Manchu’s panel, for allegedly maligning her image on social media. In her complaint, Hema stated that she saw a video of the duo making comments that she claimed amounted to character assassination.
The drama began when Vishnu Manchu announced in June that he would contest against Raj for the coveted post of president of the 900-member artistes’ body. While the former won the support of actors like Krishna, Krishnam Raju and Balakrishna Nandamuri, the latter is reportedly backed by the Chiranjeevi family.