Andhra Pradesh CM Nara Chandrababu Naidu, who is anyway battling rough electoral weather this time, has now got another spreading stain to bother about. In reality, it has all the elements of the blood-soaked vendetta raj that makes such a dreaded legend of Rayalaseema, the home province of perhaps the biggest political rival of his life, the late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. But when YSR’s elder brother, the 68-year-old Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy, lay dead under suspicious circumstances at his native Pulivendula residence, it’s Naidu who must have felt the pincer-grip of baleful destiny. A two-time Congress MP from Kadapa, the deceased is the uncle of YSRCP chief Jaganmohan Reddy, Naidu’s young bugbear.
Krishna Reddy, a relative who lodged a police complaint, tried to establish it as a murder. He specified that bloodstains were found in the bedroom and bathroom, and that he saw two blood injuries on the dead man’s forehead and right hand, besides bruises on the face and neck, which raise doubts about it being a natural death.
As was to be expected, family members allege the ‘murder’ was the handiwork of Naidu, who they say is bent upon physically eliminating all YSR family members. They hold him responsible for the brutal murder of YSR’s father Raja Reddy in the past as also the recent ‘knife attack’ on Jaganmohan at Visakhapatnam airport. Now, the fresh ‘murder’ allegation is likely to have some impact on Naidu’s personal image as well the TDP’s poll prospects—at least in volatile Rayalaseema. His own cadre, however, are sure their leader has turned the tide on the back of a slew of welfare initiatives.