Around 10 p.m. on Thursday night, Janasena cadres were celebrating the victory in the sarpanch election with fireworks and their procession passed through a Dalit colony as well
Matsyapuri: A panchayat election victory rally taken out by Jana Sena cadres through a Dalit locality in Matsyapuri village near Bhimavaram in West Godavari led to fisticuffs and later a war of words between two leading politicians in the state, Grandhi Srinivas and Pawan Kalyan.
Around 10 p.m. on Thursday night, Janasena cadres were celebrating the victory in the sarpanch election with fireworks and their procession passed through a Dalit colony as well.
“We told the Janasena celebrants not to burst crackers near our place as there was a patient nearby but they disregarded out pleas and tied very loud crackers to a dried hedge and detonated them,” Godi Sunny, a resident of the Dalit colony told IANS.
Sunny said the hedge caught fire, along with the clothes of a specially-abled woman living in that thatched house.
Following this, he said there was a skirmish, involving the Dalits and the upper caste celebrants leading to fisticuffs.
In the night, Bhimavaram MLA Grandhi Srinivas got wind of the trouble and rushed to the spot to control the situation, just 20 km away from his home.
The Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) MLA berated the Janasena cadres for creating trouble in the Dalit colony in Matsyapuri.
“If you do not change your behaviour, we will do it for you and show your Pawan Kalyan. Do you think that we are wearing bangles,” warned Srinivas.
Amid the pandemonium, Srinivas warned the Janasena cadres that they will organise a ‘Chalo Matsyapuri’ rally with the YSR family and see whether Kalyan will come or anybody else, referring to the latter’s father in a derogatory manner.
Srinivas, who trounced Kalyan in the 2019 Bhimvaram MLA election, claimed that the ruling party leaders were being patient despite the many alleged atrocities of Janasena supporters.
“Kalyan must think why he started the party. I don’t know why he started a party but he is provoking youth and turning them into trouble mongers, destroying the peace and tranquility in the society. He should stop this,” Srinivas said.
Srinivas opined that a party like the Janasena filled with ‘anti-social elements’ should be abolished by the Election Commission for peace in the southern state.
The MLA’s remarks kicked up a row, sparking a reaction from Kalyan, an actor-politician who founded the Janasena in 2014.
Kalyan alleged that the ruling YSRCP leaders have been resorting to attacks on Janasena supporters as they could not digest the ‘triumph’ of his party in the recent panchayat elections.
“Dalit woman Karepalli Shantipriya contested as a sarpanch and won the election in Matsyapuri. She wanted to pay her respects to the architect of the Constitution but YSRCP activists tore away the garland and abused her,” alleged Kalyan.
He claimed that YSRCP cadres unleashed a few more attacks on others on the fateful night and damaged some vehicles belonging to Janasena activists.
The actor alleged that it has become a habit for Srinivas to regularly abuse him and branded him a ‘silly rowdy’.
Meanwhile, it is not clear if there was police permission for the victory procession and a phone call to Narasapuram deputy superintendent of police for more information went unanswered.
Police from Bhimavaram, Narasapuram and other places are monitoring the situation in the village.