The rivalry between Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy and senior leader of the ruling Congress party P Janardhan Reddy took an ugly turn as the family members of the two politicians clashed in public over a petty issue here. Supporters of Janardhan Reddy damaged four buses in the posh Jubilee Hills locality on Monday.
A brawl between Janardhan Reddy's son and the chief minister's younger brother YS Ravindernath Reddy and nephew on Sunday night snowballed into a major row with Janardhan Reddy and his supporters staging a protest in front of the Jubilee Hills police station.
Police on Monday registered a case of attempt to murder against Janardhan Reddy's son P Vishnuvardhan Reddy and son-in-law Santosh Reddy, who had to spend Sunday night in police custody.
Four other cases of rioting, criminal intimidation, mischief and causing damage were also booked against the duo. On Monday, a magistrate remanded them in judicial custody till July 20.
On a complaint filed by Janardhan Reddy's wife, the police have also registered cases of rioting against Ravindernath Reddy and his son.
PJR, as Janardhan Reddy is popularly known, and his supporters have been staging a protest before the Jubilee Hills police station since Sunday night. They are demanding the arrest of the chief minister's brother and nephew.
Alleging that the police are favouring the chief minister's family, he has refused to leave the police station till a case of attempt to murder is booked against the chief minister's brother.
Tension prevailed in the area Monday morning as some of PJR's supporters damaged four buses. Police arrested some of them and sent them to other police stations.
The incident took place when the chief minister was away in Maldives celebrating his 58th birthday.
Janardhan Reddy, who led the Congress party in the state assembly when it was in opposition from 1994 to 1999, is a bitter critic of the chief minister.
The trouble started Sunday night on a narrow road in MLA Quarters in the posh Jubliee Hills neighbourhood when the chief minister's brother and nephew, who were returning home in a car, found another car blocking their way.
The car belonged to Janardhan Reddy's son, who was attending a function at his sister's house in the same area. Ravindernath Reddy blew the horn and that led to an argument between the two sides.
Ravindernath Reddy and his son YS Sumadhar Reddy alleged that they were beaten up by Janardhan Reddy's son and son-in-law. Soon, Janardhan Reddy and other members of the two families reached there and the two groups nearly came to blows.
Meanwhile, police rushed to the scene and took Janardhan Reddy and his family members to the police station.
While Ravindernath Reddy and his son claimed that PJR's son and son-in-law assaulted them, PJR's wife Sulochanamma has lodged a complaint with the police saying that the chief minister's brother and nephew began the fight by abusing them and alleged that they beat her son and son-in-law.