Internal bickering in the district Congress took an ugly turn when the supporters of Minister for Horticulture R. Venkat Reddy and Rajya Sabha member Renuka Chowdary came to blows at Tekulapalli during the latter’s visit to the mandal headquarters town on Sunday.
Ms. Chowdary’s visit to Karepalli to mobilise public support for retaining Bhadrachalam in Telangana was also marred by protests later in the day. Protesters hurled eggs on her convoy at Karepalli.
Mr. Venkat Reddy and Ms. Chowdary have been at loggerheads ever since the former openly questioned the claims of the latter that she is “Telangana Adapaduchu” (daughter of Telangana).
Trouble broke out at Tekulapalli when the followers of Mr. Venkat Reddy and Ms. Renuka came to blows soon after a meeting. They lodged complaints against each other with the local police.
Ms. Chowdary rushed to the Tekulapalli police station and told the police that some “rowdy elements” had attacked her supporters who came all the way to attend her meeting. She sought action against those who indulged in the unprovoked attack. Protesters, suspected to be the supporters of Mr. Venkat Reddy, raised slogans against Ms. Chowdary accusing her of being “anti-Telangana.” The police resorted to a “mild lathicharge” when they tried disrupt her rally. Ms. Renuka warned the protesters against disrupting her rallies opposing the move to delink Bhadrachalam with Khammam district.
“People will teach a fitting lesson to the rowdy elements”, she said. Meanwhile, Mr. Venkat Reddy supporters staged a rasta roko at Tekulapalli demanding action against Ms. Chowdary for abusing a tribal sarpanch of the mandal by caste. The local Congress leaders participated in the stir and lodged a complaint with the police.