Tension prevailed at the venue of 'mini mahanadu' of the ruling Telugu Desam Party held at Ongole, headquarters of Prakasam district, on Saturday as the followers of the two groups led by senior leader Karanam Balaramakrishna Murthy and Addanki MLA Gottipati Ravikumar clashed with one another inside the venue hall.
Heated arguments and shouting ensued the moment Mr. Balaramakrishna Murthy got onto the stage along with some of his close aides and supporters. Following this, the activists on both sides became agitated and started yelling at each other. Some of them nearly came to blows when the large police force present separated them. The tension was palpable right from the morning as the two groups were stated to have been mobilising large number of supporters to showcase their strength.
The Gottipati group had also brought many activists from villages in Addanki and Parchuru area as it was the first major meeting that their leader Gottipati Ravikumar was attending after he switched his loyalties from the opposition YSR Congress Party to the TDP.
Mr. Balaram's group had been opposing Mr. Ravikumar's entry into the TDP from the beginning which was cited as one reason for the MLA's belated entry. The party state leadership had asked both the groups to work in coordination with each other as the TDP needs increased supports at the grassroots in the coming years.
However, considerable tension continued with the two groups showing signs of clashing whenever they came face to face. Mr. Ravikumar's group was also nursing a grudge going by the way in which their leader's entry was opposed and sought to be prevented by Mr. Balaram's group from day one.