Prakasam, May 24:

Politics is the reason for the group clashes between Karanam Balaram and Gottipati Hanumantha Rao in Prakasam district to snowball into faction feud. Karanam Balaram entered into politics from Congress party at an early age. He won as Addanki MLA in 1978 on Congress ticket.

After Telugu Desam Party was founded, along with Chandrababu Naidu, he joined TDP in 1984. Martoor TDP ticket was allotted to Balaram in 1985 elections.

Gottipati Hanumantha Rao of TDP was the ZP chairman. Gottipati opposed both – taking Karanam into the party and also allotting party ticket to him.  He resigned to the party and post and announced his support to Congress, which led to bloody fight between Gottipati and Karanam families.

This created several groups in the villages of Martoor and Addanki constituencies. Frequent group clashes and attacks became a common sight. Karanam on TDP ticket and Gottipati on Congress ticket have contested in 1989 assembly elections. Karanam won the elections but Congress came into power. This increased clashes, bomb attacks and murders between the two groups.

The then political leaders have never tried to make peace between the two groups and one incident that took place in 1992 made the faction feud to a new level. Gottipati Hanumantha Rao’s son Kishore and another four were murdered and cases were filed against Karanam Balaram and his followers in this regard.

Balaram was sentenced to life in prison and he challenged the lower court verdict in the high court. The high court scrapped the lower court’s verdict n 1994. After the high court verdict, Karanam joined Congress.

Faction Feud

After Kishore’s murder, the group clashes have reached the leaders. Balaram contested in 1994 elections on Congress ticket. With the support of TDP, Hanumantha Rao contested as independent and won a thumping majority. He even worked as minister during TDP government.

Hanumantha Rao He died in 1997. In the same year, Balaram joined TDP. With Balaram’s support, Gottipati Narsaiah won Martoor by-elections with one lakh votes majority. With this, every one hoped that the faction feud between Gottipati and Karanam families was ended.

An agreement was made to give Martoor to Gottipati and Addanki to Karanam groups. But Congress politics has ignited the bloody fight once again. Late YS Rajasekhara Reddy fielded Gottipati Ravi Kumar on Congress ticket, a close relative to sitting MLA Gottipati Narsaiah, in Martoor election in 2004.

The faction feuds again raised after Ravi from Martoor and Karanam from Addanki won the elections. The constituencies’ reorganization also added fuel to the riots. Gottipati Ravi has to contest from Addanki as half of Addanki and some portion of Purchoor was mixed.

Addanki politics has further heated up with the recent murders and clashes between the leaders. But this became a unsolved headache for the TDP high command since both the arch rivals are in the same party.

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