TDP Factions Led By Karanam, Gottipati Clash Again

There were clashes again on Tuesday between the factions led by Karanam Balaram and Gottipati Ravi Kumar, both belonging to the TDP, in Prakasham district.

Ongole: The clashes between TDP MLA Gottipati Ravi Kumar and MLC Karanam Balaramakrishna Murthy have reached ugly proportions on Tuesday morning when Ravi Kumar was sent out of the TDP Election Coordination committee meeting.

By the time Ravi Kumar came to the venue, the hall was filled with the persons belonging to the faction led by Karanam who attacked the former. The loyalists of the MLC and MLA came to blows.

The police intervened but could not help. When the clash took place Minister Paritala Sunita went there and took Ravi Kumar inside the hall. Ministers Narayana and Siddha Raghava Rao remained mute spectators. Balaram’s faction was in dominant position. It was bent upon preventing Ravi Kumar from participating in the meeting. The meeting with ministers and rest of TDP MLAs continued after Ravi left.

The factions led by Karanam and Gottipati clashed even at Mini Mahanadu. There was a double murder last week at Vemavaram. Karanam Balaram believes that Gottipati Ravi has got his two of his followers killed at Vemavaram. Ravi, talking to a TV channel, said he has been keeping a low profile but the Balaram’s attitude is aggressive. He said he did not retaliate even when his elder brother was murdered. Ravi, who was elected from Addanki constituency in Prakasham district defeating Balaram’s son Karanam Venkatesh in 2014 elections, defected to the TDP about a year ago. Gottipati was taken out by the police under tight security.

There has been faction politics for 25 years in Marturu constituency. Karanam Balaram was given life sentence in the case of murder of Gottipati Hanumanta Rao’s son Kishore. After Karanam joined the Congress there were no further clashes till recently. After Balaram rejoined the Congress the clashes resumed. Hanumanta Rao died and Ravi Kumar became the faction leader. Ravi joined the YSRCP before 2014 elections.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu referred to the clashes between the two groups in his video conference on Tuesday morning. But Naidu’s cautions and advice have no effect. He is expected to take some strong measures to stop the rot in the party. It is Naidu’s own making. He encouraged defections from the opposition even though he had comfortable majority in the House. There are group rivalries between original TDP leaders and the defectors at least in half a dozen districts. It has become a headache for the party chief.

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