Tension prevailed in Mantralayam, Kurnool on Saturday after Telugu Desam Party MLA aspirant from the constituency, P Thikka Reddy, and an Assistant Sub-Inspector suffered bullet injuries during a clash between TDP and YSRCP workers.
According to reports, on Saturday morning, Thikka Reddy who is contesting from Mantralayam went to Khaggal village along with his cadre to hoist the TDP flag. Kurnool has traditionally been a stronghold of the YSRCP, and TDP has been trying to make inroads in the district.
Agitated over the TDP attempting to mark their presence in the village, Thikka‚Äôs rival, and YSRCP Mantralayam sitting MLA Balanagi Reddy‚Äôs wife Jayamma along with her son Pradeep Reddy and several other YSRCP supporters attempted to attack Thikka Reddy in the presence of the police.
As the police couldn‚Äôt stop the attack, Thikka Reddy‚Äôs gunmen fired two rounds in the air to disperse the attackers. However, the clash continued. During the commotion, Thikka Reddy and Madhavaram ASI Venugopal were accidentally shot. While Thikka suffered bullet injuries to his left leg, Venugopal suffered injuries to his right leg.
Madhavam police told TNM that both Thikka Reddy and Venugopal are availing treatment in Kurnool government hospital. They also said that they have mobilised police forces to the village to prevent further clashes. ‚ÄúPolice teams have been deputed in the village for bandobust. Presently, the village is peaceful,‚ÄĚ said an official.
Condemning the incident, TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh said that the YSRCP ‚Äėrowdies‚Äô have been preventing them from campaigning. He wrote on Twitter, ‚ÄúIt is a democratic right of an individual to campaign freely, but YSRCP rowdies have been objecting to it.‚ÄĚ
In the 2014 elections, YSRCP swept the Kurnool district by winning two Parliament seats and 11 out of 14 Assembly seats.
Balanagi Reddy is a two-time MLA who won consecutive terms in 2009 and 2014. He had defeated Thikka Reddy by a margin of 7,462 votes in the previous elections.