Police suspect sudden provocation to be the reason for murder. But the chances of a larger conspiracy is also being investigated.

A noted Telugu Desam party leader from Krishna district, Chalasani Venkateswara Rao, 54, was found murdered in his flat at Madhuranagar-C of S.R. Nagar here on Monday morning.

Mr. Chalasani Rao’s associate, Mahender Reddy, one of the two persons last to be seen in the victim’s flat late on Sunday night, emerged as the prime suspect as he was not found at his apartment house in Balajinagar near Kukatpally.

Blood stains found on the door knob and walls of Reddy’s flat strengthened suspicions about his possible involvement in the brutal murder.

Watchman Koteswara Rao told police that he had seen Mr. Chalasani Rao, Mahender Reddy and another person, Ratnakar, at the TDP leader’s flat the previous night. While Ratnakar left after 9 p.m., Reddy stayed back in the flat.

“It appears the victim and Reddy consumed liquor and fought with one another. Sudden provocation could be the reason,” Punjagutta ACP, J. Subbarami Reddy, told reporters.

Scratches on the victim’s body and broken whiskey bottle suggested he resisted the killer for long. The murderer bludgeoned Mr. Chalasani Rao’s head with a metal toy before fleeing the flat.

“I saw Mahender Reddy hurrying out of the gate around 11 p.m. but didn’t suspect anything,” the watchman said.

The gruesome murder came to light only after Fasi, an acquaintance of the murdered leader came to the flat on Monday morning.

On noticing that the main door was ajar and one of the bedrooms closed, he went back to the watchman. Later both of them came to the apartment and noticed Mr. Chalasani Rao’s blood-stained body.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner, A.K. Khan, told media persons that the case was being investigated from all angles though real estate dispute was said to be the main motive behind the killing.

TDP president, N. Chandrababu Naidu, who was on tour in Anantapur district, said disputes should be resolved through discussions but not through violent methods.

He urged the Government to nab the culprits in the murder immediately.