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Monday, August 20, 2007

Political Talk: Snap Poll Will Benefit TDP!

There talk of mid-term elections to the Lok Sabha are being heard everywhere. But many feel that such a possibility is very remote. The Left parties have certainly raised the pitch, but it is highly unlikely that they would pull the rug from under the feet of Manmohan Singh.

But the ground reality in the state suggests that in such an eventuality, it is the Telugu Desam Party that will emerge as the biggest gainer from a snap poll. The party fared poorly last time and managed to win just 5 MP seats. So if the TDP can manage to win even 10 seats now, it would have doubled its strength in the Lok Sabha.

The biggest loser undoubtedly would be the TRS, which will have to, in all probability, go it alone.

Behind The Scene: Babu silences 'Maharaja'!

Former minister and senior Telugu Desam leader P Ashoka Gajapathiraju is hardly seen at the TD State party headquarters NTR Bhavan. He used to be active while the TD was in power. The former "Maharaja" of Vizianagaram kingdom has reportedly decided not to be in the limelight at least for one more year. And this explains why he is not seen much at NTR Bhavan. Moreover, Chandrababu Naidu has entrusted the responsibility to his "trusted lieutenants" MV Mysoora Reddy and Nagam Janardhan Reddy.

An interesting aspect now observed in TD headquarters is the active participation of former information minister Dadi Veerabhadra Rao. This man had remained silent for more than five years. But during the past three months, he is sitting on the media conference dias and sharing it often with none other than Chandrababu Naidu.

Another leader who has been given a "raw deal" is former union minister Ummareddy Venkateswarlu. Also same is the case with former CBI director and former minister K Vijayarama Rao.

Only God knows what is in the mind of Chandrababu Naidu these days.

Lokesh' marriage: two quite contrasts

It is being dubbed as the "marriage of the year" in the political circles in the State. Whatever be the reasons attached to the marriage being dubbed as the wedding of the year, there's one reason no one can escape from or overlook.
It is the quite contrast between the bride and the bridegroom.
While the marriage arrangements are in full swing in the bungalow of film star Balakrishna whose daughter Brahmani is getting married to Nara Lokesh, son of former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on August 26, there's no such an environment in the bungalow of Chandrababu Naidu.
With Chandrababu Naidu deciding to keep the marriage a "low key affair", much activity is not seen at his house, though occassionally Lokesh and his mother Bhuvaneswari are said to be busy shopping. It is in quite contrast to the busy schedule in the residence of Brahmani.
The invitation list is also going to be quite contrast: big list vs small list. In every aspect the marriage is going to be quite in contrast, one making it a big affair and the other a low-ley function.
Many feel that they have not come across such a marriage in contrast.

Fact Sheet: Of Naidu and his 10, Janpath links!!

Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu, who was in New Delhi last week, took the party leaders and mediapersons by surprise by going into hiding for a couple of hours early in the morning.
There was nobody with him, except former Rajya Sabha member Kambhampati Rammohan Rao, when he went out in the latter's car without even taking his breakfast. Nobody could guess where Naidu had gone and after a week, too, Kambhampati also did not open his mouth even before closest of his friends, leave along the Desam MPs.
However, mediapersons tried to sniff the news about Naidu's secret mission. Accoding to their guess, Naidu had a one-on-one meeting with an industrialist, who has close links with the powers-that-be in 10, Janpath (Sonia Gandhi's residence), on a business deal. Sources say Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy has become a major hurdle in getting clearance to this business and therefore, Naidu sought the help of this industrialist to prevail upon YSR through Sonia Gandhi. So, business is politics and politics is business!

Undavalli's Verbal Bombardments In 'Ee Varam'

The new weekly Ee Vaaram is launched and the first issue deals with Ramoji Rao and his deeds with Margadarsi. The chief editor of the magazine is Undavalli Arun Kumar and the other story that took big place in the magazine is about Chiranjeevi's political entry.
The sensational Congress leader who came to file only with Margadarsi issue is now turned a Press person as well with 'Ee Vaaram'. It is obvious that Congress is funding that magazine and the multi color magazine is being sold out at just Rs 5. Television Ads are also hitting in big way about this magazine.
We have to see how Congress and Undavalli use this magazine in near future.

Fact Sheet: Ex-bureacrats go on their own!

Three retired IAS officers -- D. C. Rosaiah, B. Danam and I. Venkateswarulu – who earned notoriety as the most corrupt officers during their tenure, are on a crusade to empower Dalits and minorities of the State.
The retirned bureacrats were associated themselves with the United BC/SC/ST Front initially, but later, they realised that their purpose won't be served if they play second fiddle to the petty politicians. So, they have decided to go on their own and see the people's response.
These former bureaucrats are now conducting political awareness programmes at Kakinada, Vizag, Vijayawada, Tirupati, Warangal and Hyderabad to enlighten the Dalits and prepare them for a longer battle for power. They saythough Dalits and minorities comprised about 85 percent of the population, they did not have decision making power.
"Power is in the hands of the remaining 15 percent and they are trampling over the rights of the Bahujans," they say.

Jagan ‘stopped’ in his tracks by YSR

Vijayawada: Is Y S Jaganmohan Reddy wary of group politics in the ruling Congress? Is he restrained by his chief minister-father YS Rajasekhara Reddy on making tours? Whatever may be the reason, the ‘rising son’ of the state, Jagan has cancelled his visit to Krishna and Guntur districts scheduled for August 25.
In fact, there was a flurry of activity in the Congress circles ever since the cadres came to know about his visit to the city to attend the marriage of a youth Congress leader in Guntur. On learning the news, leaders from Krishna too exerted pressure on him to spare some time in Vijayawada. But, youth leaders from Palnadu who secured his promise to visit Macherla did not agree to the proposal.
A group of leaders, led by local ZPTC member Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy, told Jagan that they have already made arrangements for a ‘grand welcome’. Meanwhile, proprietor of construction giant Ramky group Ramakrishna Reddy, a partner of Jagan in real estate business holdings, reportedly suggested Jagan to visit Sattenapalle to inaugurate charity works taken up by their foundation.
Guntur market committee chairman L Appi Reddy, who planned Jagan’s visit to the city, too wanted to keep him busy. As the rush of invitations kept growing, Jagan reportedly said he was going to Mumbai for a board meeting of Raghuram cements. But, rumours are rife in the party circles that the CM asked Jagan to wait for some time before plunging into active politics.

Behind The Scene: Why PJR is lying low!

Looks like the worries of the Chief Minister, Mr YS Rajasekhar Reddy, are over now. The main dissident in the Congress in the State, Khairatabad legislator P Janardhan Reddy is lying low. Another MLA M Sashidhar Reddy is also keeping mum. Suddenly all the dissident elements including MP Sarve Satyanarayana, MLA P Shankar Rao and MP Madhu Yashki Goud have decided to keep the dissident activity under wraps. No one understands why they are keeping quiet. Is it the calm before the calm. Let's wait and see.
Sources point out that AICC Chief Sonia Gandhi has acted tough and this explains for the silence of these leaders. Only time will tell, whether their silence is because of fear of Sonia or it is calm before the storm.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Spy Report : Lagadapati emulating Chandrababu!

Vijayawada MP and firebrand industrialist Lagadapati Rajagopal seems to be emulating former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu in "back-stabbing" his father-in-law Parvathaneni Upendra.

There is a lot of drama in this episode. Upendra played a prominent role in the early days of Telugu Desam foundation and was a close associate of its founder-president N T Rama Rao. On the other hand, Rajagopal has been in the Congress right from the beginning, like Chandrababu Naidu. While Naidu differed with NTR because the latter married Lakshmi Parvathi, who was dominating the TD politics, Upendra was angry with Lagadapati, because the latter has was allegedly having illicit relationship with a woman public relations officer in the police department. Because of her, Lagadapati started ignoring his wife (Upendra's daughter).

Of late, Lagadapati has been dominating the Vijayawada politics, completely sidelining Upendra, who sacrificed his seat for his son-in-law in 2004 general elections. Now, Upendra feels he has been stabbed in the back by Lagadapati, just as NTR suffered backstabbing from Chandrababu Naidu!

CPM-MIM fight behind Tasleema attack?

The CPM and the MIM have been fighting against each other for the last three years to establish their supremacy in old city of Hyderabad.
There have been instances of clashes, often violent. But the fight has assumed serious proportions on Thursday when MIM attacked Tasleema Nasreen, the controversial Bangla writer.
The MIM wants to drive home the message back home in its constituencies that the Communists have befriended Tasleema Nasreen who has written against Islam and Muslims. They want to tell their voters that the Communists had sided with Tasleema and the MIM is the real champion of the minority community.
But the MIM set a bad precedent by attacking the organisers and the writer at the book release function in Hyderabad.

Fact Sheet: Left doublespeak on land, Tasleema!

The Communists think that they can get away with anything. First they created trouble for the Congress government in the State through a "bhoo poratam" (struggle for land distribution). This led to police firing resulting in the death of seven persons at Mudigonda. The communists bayed for the blood of the chief minister, Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy.
They conveniently forgot that a similar land struggle back home in West Bengal led to several deaths in police firing.
It was the Communist government in West Bengal which had banned controversial Bangla writer Tasleema Nasreen's book. Now the same communists speak of freedom of expression.
What is good for the goose should also be good for the gander.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Spy Report: Lagadapati emulating Chandrababu!

Vijayawada MP and firebrand industrialist Lagadapati Rajagopal seems to be emulating former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu in "back-stabbing" his father-in-law Parvathaneni Upendra.

There is a lot of drama in this episode. Upendra played a prominent role in the early days of Telugu Desam foundation and was a close associate of its founder-president N T Rama Rao. On the other hand, Rajagopal has been in the Congress right from the beginning, like Chandrababu Naidu. While Naidu differed with NTR because the latter married Lakshmi Parvathi, who was dominating the TD politics, Upendra was angry with Lagadapati, because the latter has was allegedly having illicit relationship with a woman public relations officer in the police department. Because of her, Lagadapati started ignoring his wife (Upendra's daughter).

Of late, Lagadapati has been dominating the Vijayawada politics, completely sidelining Upendra, who sacrificed his seat for his son-in-law in 2004 general elections. Now, Upendra feels he has been stabbed in the back by Lagadapati, just as NTR suffered backstabbing from Chandrababu Naidu!

MIM activists rough up Taslima Nasreen in Hyderabad

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HYDERABAD: Controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen was on Thursday roughed up by MIM activists who stormed into a book release function, injuring a Telugu writer and a press photographer.

Nasreen, here to release the Telugu translation of her latest book 'Shodh', escaped unhurt as organisers and journalists shielded her and escorted her to safety.

A group of over 40 MIM workers, led by party MLAs Afsar Khan, Ahmed Pasha and Mouzam Khan, barged into the press club at Somajiguda when the function was about to end.

Hurling abuse and shouting slogans, the MIM workers surged menacingly towards the dais as a stunned Nasreen looked on.

They threw papers and books at Nasreen. In the melee, Telugu writer N Innaiah, the organiser of the function and president of the rationalist organisation Centre for Inquiry, was injured along with a press photographer.

Alert organisers and journalists covering the event threw a protective ring around Nasreen and took her to an adjoining room.

The MIM activists, who demanded that Nasreen should leave immediately, broke windows and damaged furniture at the venue.

Police then reached the spot and dispersed them.

The three MLAs from the city and their supporters were taken to Banjara Hills police station, Deputy Commissioner of Police M Madhusudhan Reddy said.

The manager of the Press Club filed a complaint with police against the attackers.

A large number of mediapersons gathered at the press club and protested against the behaviour of the MIM activists. They sought stringent action against the MLAs and their supporters.

Later, a delegation of journalists led by Indian Journalists Union (IJU) secretary general K Srinivasa Reddy and Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ) leader D Amar met Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and sought stringent action against the culprits.

The MIM, which has considerable influence in the old city area, is represented in the Lok Sabha by Asaduddin Owaisi and has five members in the assembly.

Digvijay Singh, the Congress general secretary in-charge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, condemned the incident and said such attacks had no place in a liberal society.

The CPI state council termed the incident as an "attack on the freedom of expression by Muslim fundamentalists" and demanded the immediate arrest of the MIM legislators and their supporters.

Cong wooing women well in advance

The elections to the State Assembly are still 20 months away, but the ruling Congress has already begun wooing the women electorate with all the pre-election sops like distribution of sarees and blouses, as if the election is tomorrow.
In several districts, the beneficiaries under Indiramma housing scheme are getting more than what they have asked for. Under this scheme, the house site documents are given in the name of women. Along with the pattas, the beneficiaries are being given a saree, blouse piece, bangles, kumkum, betel leaves and nut powder.
Not only this, food is being served to the women and those accompanying them if they are struck at the venue after 12.00 noon. In fact Chief Minister Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy expressed surprise when pattas are given with sarees when he launched the distribution during his visit to Nellore on Sunday. Local MLA A Vivekananda Reddy told the Chief Minister that it would be given to all the beneficiaries, as part of the tradition.
And the bill for providing food as well as other items like saree and blouses is being footed by the local municipal authorities!!

Behind The Scene: Ramoji empire crumbling!

Looks like Eenadu group chairman Ramoji Rao's empire is gradually crumbling. The orders passed by Revenue Tribunal declaring 1363 acres of land under possession of Ramoji group as ceiling land and asking Ramoji Rao to surrender the land to the government immediately sent shockwaves not only in his family, but also in the entire group.
It was a hot topic for discussion among the employees of Eenadu and ETV and there was an element of insecurity among them. The question that was doing rounds among those employees was: what would be their fate, if Margadarsi and Ramoji Film City collapse simultaneously. Does Ramoji Rao have the capacity to withstand this disaster. News was that even Blackstone, who was expected to take over part of the equity in Ramoji group, has now backed out.
Interestingly, not a single story appeared in Eenadu about the Revenue Tribunal order on Thursday, while all other newspapers blew it up on front pages. Indications are that many employees have already starting making plans to look for greener pasteurs, before they become part of the bankruptcy!

Buzz: Jumbo committee exposes Naidu weakness

The constitution of a jumbo State executive of the Telugu Desam with 176 members on Wednesday has thoroughly exposed the hollowness of its president N Chandrababu Naidu's leadership.
In the State committee, Naidu has accommodated everybody, who he thinks have the capacity to become nuisance value in the coming days. To defend his action, he tried to put up a show saying he had to satisfy all the sections, particularly BCs, SCs and STs, while constituting the committee. First of all, it is not a Cabinet and there is no additional benefit or monetary gains these leaders would get, except that they could seek positions if the TD comes to power. So, there is no need for any caste balancing in the party posts.
Secondly, there will be no work division in such a big committee and particularly in a party like Telugu Desam, there is nothing that the party leaders can do, as all the decisions are taken and all the talk is done only by Naidu and rest are all only listeners.
Even in the so-called politburo, only Naidu's word prevails and there will be none to differ with him. Those who can question his decisions, like Kotagiri Vidyadhar Rao or Kadiam Srihari, are kept out of politburo. In fact, Naidu reportedly thought of taking even Devender Goud out of politburo, but feared that it would trigger a revolt in the party in Telangana region.
So, Naidu was scared of any making major changes in the party committee, but for inclusion of Harikrishna in the politburo!

Land Tribunal news is no news for Ramoji’s Eenadu!

The orders passed by the RDO of Ranga Reddy East Division T Manikyala Rao on the excess holding of lands by him is no news for Eenadu and ETV. The story does not find mention anywhere in the paper. Not even a single column tucked away in the inside pages!
It reminds one of the Telugu saying “Pillu Kallu Moosuku Paalu Taagithe, Thanai Evaru Choodatledu Anukuntundi” (A cat will drink milk with its eyes closed thinking that no one is watching it).
So the chief editor of Eenadu may be under the impression that if the story is not published in Eenadu, then nobody will ever come to know about it.For late comers, the story is that the tribunal has found that Ramoji Rao and his group are in possession of about 1,380 acres of excess land, which is in violation of the AP Land Reforms (Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings) rules 1974. The tribunal has issued a notice to Ramoji Rao and has given 15 days time to respond.

Naidu places his son's marriage card on Balaji's feet

Tirumala, Aug 8: The former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Telugu Desam Party(TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu today placed the first Invitation card of his son Lokesh's marriage at the feet of Lord Venkateswara and sought his blessings at Tirumala temple.

Earlier, Mr Naidu, who flew here along with his wife and TDP founder late N T Ramarao's daughter Bhuvaneswari from Hyderabad to Tirupati yesterday, was received by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD)Joint Executive Officer G Balaramaiah and temple Deputy Executive Officer Prabhakar in the temple.

Mr Naidu offered worship to the Lord, after the Archananthana Darshan (AAD) in the sanctum sanctorum and later deposited the wedding card in Srivari Hundi.

Lokesh would marry cine actor Balakrishna's daughter Brahmani on August 26 in Hyderabad.

Later, the TTDP supremo visited Tirupati and left for Hyderabad by air, the party sources said.

Ramoji asked to surrender surplus 1500 acres land

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In what is seen as a major bow to the image of Ramoji Rao and the biggest setback in his life, is the verdict delivered by the Land Tribunal today. The verdict comes after about nine months of hearing. In the order, the tribunal has said that Ramoji Rao possesses about 1804 acres of land. This is in excess of the stipulated 500 acres. The land holding is spread across Film city, Shamshabad, Chittoor, Kankipadi and other place in the state.

The land is in the names of RFC, Eenadu, Margadarsi, Ch Kiran, Ch Suman, Dolphin hotels and other group entities. With this order, Ramoji Rao now has no option but to surrender the excess land that could be up to 1,500 acres.

The tribunal passed the orders and has given Ramoji Rao 15 days time to respond. If the fails to respond, the tribunal will have the right to take back the lands.

The only concession that Ramoji Rao can expect is that he can decide on which land to keep and which land to surrender. The choice of retaining 500 acres of land vests with Ramoji Rao. More details about the tribunal’s verdict are awaited.

Dutt given `manual hard work' in jail; to do painting

Pune: Actor Sanjay Dutt, sentenced to six-year rigorous imprisonment in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, has been given "manual hard work" at Yerawada Central Jail but he expressed keeness for painting , official sources said.

Though the nature of the job given to Dutt was not disclosed, the sources said it could be anything under work options available to convicts such as carpentry (which includes cane work), textile, painting, bakery, printing press, leather work, farming, powerloom/handloom, motor garage and kitchen in the jail industry.

The 48-year-old actor, convicted under the Arms Act for possessing illegal weapons, is said to have expressed his desire to get involved in painting work, an official source told PTI on condition of anonymity.

"It is not that a convict serving rigorous imprisonment at Yerawada Jail is expected to stick to just one job. He can ask for a change in work as per his inclination and aptitude," the sources noted.

The prisoners get their prescribed allowance under different work categories.

The prison, housing around 3,000 inmates, gets an annual revenue of over Rs one crore by way of the sale of various products made available through its outlets, they said.

Meanwhile, the jail authorities have denied any special treatment or concessions were given to the visitors Dutt had on Monday - his sister Namrata and friend Manyata - as well as the team of lawyers from Mumbai as reported in the media.

"For us, Dutt happens to be just one of hundreds of jail inmates serving their sentence on conviction," Satish Mathur, Inspector-General, Prisons, said.

Harikrishna gets berth in TD politburu

Former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu, who does not believe in giving plum posts to relatives, has finally changed his well established principles and rules. He has included his brother-in-law and former minister N Harikrishna into the party politburo, the highest decision making body of the Telugu Desam.

But it is to be seen how Harikrishna will function as one of the important members of the party politburo. Harikrishna is known for his short temper and Chandrababu Naidu does not tolerate anyone questioning his authority. It is going to be clash of titans.

Inside sources point out that Chandrababu Naidu has bent rules to benefit Harikrishna for two reasons: Harikrishna was instrumental in arranging the wedding of Chandrababu Naidu's son N Lokesh with film actor-brother N Balakrishna's daughter Brahmani.

The second most important reason is that Chandrababu needs the support of some one from the NTR family if he wants to make some forays into the next Assembly elections. Several surveys by Chandrababu Naidu show that the party's position is weak and it needs to be strengthened. So who is the best ratha-sarathy other than Harikrishna. Chandrababu Naidu has no choice but to opt for his brother-in-law for the plum post.

Fact Sheet: Babu gets 10 mouths for publicity

Former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu has appointed as many as 10 official spokespersons for the party.

The TD used to have just a couple of spokesperson and after losing power, he increased the number to half a dozen. Now he has increased the number of spokespersons to 10.

Telugu Desam is perhaps the only Opposition political party in the world to have as many as 10 spokespersons. Chandrababu Naidu believes in publicity and that's the reason why he has chosen so many mouths to speak out on a variety of public issues. With the election fever already catching up the Congress and the Telugu Desam in the State, 20 months ahead of the Assembly polls, the TD supremo feels that so many mouths will add to the party's campaign.

But political observers feel that 10 spokesperson for a party which is not in power will create utter confusion and unless there's no proper coordination there will be chaos.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Fact Sheet: Go Left way, Naidu tells cadres!

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At last, Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu has taken a leaf out of the Communists' book in launching agitations and win the people's support.

He realised that the Mudigonda incident has shaken the Congress edifice in the State and drew nation-wide attention, while there was little response to the hungama created by the TD legislators at Obulapuram mines, which nobody acknowledged. So, he has, of late, started taking lessons to the party cadres on how to launch agitations. "Unless there are arrests, lathi charge or cases it can not be called as an agitation," Chandrababu Naidu told his party workers at Chittoor on Tuesday.

He encouraged them to agitate over peoples problems and bring pressure on the officials to resolve the issues. He assured his support if cases are foisted against them or in case if they are arrested. He enquired about the strategy adopted by the left parties during the recent bhuporatam and expressed surprise over the failure of his party men, who are more than left party workers in numbers, to make an impact though the agitations.

Intellectuals come to TRS rescue again!

The pro-Telangana intellectuals, who have been keeping themselves away from the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) since the Karimnagar elections thanks to the highhanded behaviour of its president K Chandrasekhar Rao, have now come to the rescue of TRS again in the Singareni Collieries union elections.

To start with, revolutionary balladeer Gaddar has been touring the coal belt areas to ignite the Telangana sentiment among the workers again, He is taking out peace yathras and organising cultural programmes at various places to propagate Telangana feeling among the people of coal belt areas in general and Singareni workers in particular.

On the other hand the programmes and regular meetings organized by 'Telangana Vidyavanthula Vedika' also galvanized Singareni workers behind the separate Telangana state demand by creating awareness about the need of separate Telangana state. The people are being brainwashed by various organizations regarding importance of winning of Telangana Boggu Gani Karmika Sangham in the elections to protect Singareni from various forces.

The TRS now hopes to repeat the Karimanagar byelections show in the Singareni polls. It feels that recent road shows by Chandrashekar Rao in the Coal belt areas and campaign by cultural troops at mines further strengthen Telangana sentiment among the workers.

YSR plans to nip BC Front in the bud

With State intelligence authorities indicated to the government about an imminent impact of the newly-formed BC United Front on the Congress prospects in 2009 elections, Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy has immediately started measures to woo the BCs and is all set to announce a major package for them.

As a first step, the Chief Minister came out with a proposal for reservations to BCs in in promotional posts in the services of both State and Central Governments. He wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take legal and legislative initiatives in this regard to pave way for reservations to them. Pointing out that reservation to BCs at the entry level in Government services is not enough, he asked the Centre to amend the constitution to provide reservations to BCs even in promotions.

Citing reasons for his plea, Dr Reddy said people belonging to backward classes form a very substantial part of population of the State. Despite the fact that they possess most of the traditional skills and services, much remains to be done for their social and educational advancement, the Chief Minister wrote.

YSR's surprise letter indicates Congress attempts to ensure complete sway over the Backward Classes in the wake of polarisation of political forces, struggle for land and other issues. Naturally, he wants to pre-empt the BCs from forming a separate party that would be last nail in the Congress coffin.

Telangana Cong meet, a futile exercise

The Telangana Regional Congress Committee meeting, to be held on August 12, has virtually no issues to discuss, but for praising the initiatives taken by the Y S Rajasekhar Reddy government for the development of Telangana on all fronts.

The meeting is being convened under pressure from some Telangana MLAs, who are getting uneasy over the latest developments on Telangana front: the immense damage caused to the Congress party in Telangana after the Mudigonda firing incident, the rising discontent among the party cadres about lack of progress on Telangana State formation front, failure to implement GO 610 and so on. There is a fear among the Congress MLAs in Telangana that they might not get relected in the 2009 elections, if there is no major initiative from the government for Telangana.

However, Gandhi Bhavan sources say, there are no great expectations about the TRCC meeting. As usual, Digvijay Singh comes from Delhi, praises the Chief Minister and gives a call to the TRCC leaders to strengthen the hands of the Chief Minister. At the most, the TRCCC leaders would ask government to spend Rs 9500 crore generated through sale of lands in and around Hyderabad for the development of Telangana region only and should not be included in the State budget, sources said.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Devendar Goud once again to the fore

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The Telugu Desam is once again looking at former minister T Devendar Goud to lend grace to its agitations. Devendar Goud has led several agitations with adept bringing laurels and votes for the Telugu Desam.
Former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu is once again pushing Devendar Goud to strengthen the party base from the village level. So Devendar Goud will take out a padayatra all over Ranga Reddy district for four days from August 9 to 11. He will gauge the public mood on the land agitation. Based on the feedback from Devendar Goud, the Telugu Desam will intensify its agitation for land distribution to other parts of the State.

Why political parties can't be made to pay for violence

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday observed why those, who organised the State-wide bandh on July 28 which led to the police firing at Mudigonda village in Khammam district resulting in the death of seven people, should not be held responsible for payment of compensation.

It also wondered why the provisions of Article 19(1)(d) and Article 21 of Constitution of India should not be invoked. The High Court was hearing a writ petition filed by Telugu Desam secretary PNV Prasad seeking imposition of the President's rule in the State.

The court directed that the petitioner implead all those political parties which had organised the bandh. Incidentally, the Telugu Desam is one of the parties which had organised the bandh all over the State.

Babu to spend just five days for Lokesh wedding

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Former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu will be spending just five days for the wedding of his only son N Lokesh. The TD supremo has drawn up a tour programme to strengthen the party from the grass roots level.He hopes to complete three rounds of the State before the next Assembly polls due in May 2009.

The first tour is scheduled for August 17 and 18 to Vizianagaram and to Mahbubnagar on August 20 and 21. The marriage of Lokesh is scheduled for August 26. So this leaves just five days for Babu to be busy with the arrangements.

He will continue with the tour programme a couple of days immediatley after the wedding.

Fact Sheet: TD-CPI joins hands to defeat TRS!

Politics makes strange bed fellows. The Communist Party of India, which is appearing to be keeping the Telugu Desam at bay in its land struggles, has entered into an alliance with the same TD in the prestigious elections to Singareni Collieries recognised union, scheduled to be held on August 9.

The CPI-affiliated AITUC entered into a last minute understanding with the Telugu Desam's trade union outfit TNTUC to fight unitedly in the Singareni polls in 10 out of 11 divisions in the coal belt spread across Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam districts. The elections are said to be crucial, as they will reflect the people's mood in the forthcoming Assembly elections.

The common agenda of the trade unions affiliated to the TD and CPI is simple: to defeat the Telangana Boggugani Karmika Sangham (TBGKS), affiliated to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi. The Desam is worried that if the TRS-backed union wins the elections, it would be the end of road for it in the 2009 Assembly elections. Moreover, the prospects of the TNTUC are very bad in the Singareni polls and therefore, it took the unexpected decision of supporting to AITUC to save their face.

Communists drop demand for YSR’s resignation

The two Communist party leaders Prakash Karat of the CPM and A B Bardhan of the CPI met with congress President Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi this evening. The talks were primary about the Left parties agitation for land for the landless – Bhoo Poratam.

The Communists are reported to have put forth a list of seven demands before Sonia Gandhi and she has agreed to look into them favourably.

The major demands include regularizing the land occupied by the poor, setting up a special Bhoo Poratam Commission setting up a special ministry and lifting of all police cases filed against the party activists.

The good news for Y S Rajashekar Reddy from the meetings is that the Left parties did not raise the issue of chief minister Y S Rajashekar Reddy. It is learnt that the Left parties have decided to drop their demand of asking for YSR’s head altogether.

TD MLAs, MPs for another political showdown

Looks like the Telugu Desam is itching for trouble. The TD which created a law and order problem by organising a trip to the controversial Obulapuram mines in Anantapur, has now decided to pay a similar visit to Jindal lands in the Visakhapatnam agency area.

Telugu Desam MPs and MLAs will visit and inspect the lands allotted to Jindal company in Visakhapatnam district for two days on August 13 and 14. The TD delegation wants to ascertain facts and find out whether the State government has violated any norms.

It was during such visit to Obulapuram that the police resorted to lathicharge. The TD leadership faced similar bad experience during the visit to Babli project site.

Fact Sheet: Cash reward to Kadapa police!!

Believe it or not, the police officials of Rayadurg police station in Kadapa district received a reward of Rs 3 lakh for successfully preventing the entry of Telugu Desam leaders and MLAs from entering Obulapuram mines and even manhandling Desam MLA E Dayakar Rao the other day.

And the cash reward was not given by the government, but by Brahmani Steels owner and Karnataka MLC Gali Janardhan Reddy, who owns the Obulapuram mines. In fact, the police had provided protection to the mines voluntarily without a formal request from Janardhan Reddy, only to display their more-loyal-than-king attitude towards Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy.

And though the government did not acknowledge their hardwork – a couple of the policemen received blows from the TD leaders, Janardhan Reddy definitely showed sympathy towards them and pleased them with the cash reward.

CPI-M plays dirty tricks on Mudigonda

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is trying to cash in on the Mudigonda firing incident to prop up its image at the national level, particularly in West Bengal, where its image is gradually going down.

This was evident from the way the CPI-M has given wide coverage to the news pertaining to Mudigonda firing incident along with gruesome photographs in Ganasakthi, the mouth-piece daily of the party in West Bengal. However, the same newspaper downplayed the Nandigram firing incident in the past, where 14 poor people lost their lives in the firing of police and CPI-M activists.

The CPI-ML (New Democracy), which is suffering in the hands of the CPI-M in Khammam district, has brought out a dossier on the Nandigram and Singur killings in West Bengal and asked how the CPI-M would defend the violence in Bengal. The party spokesman pointed out that the West Bengal government had not declared a single paise to the victims and even declined to appoint a judicial committee to probe into it. He said that the people organized militant struggles against handing over their lands to the SEZs and multi-national companies. Instead of supporting to their struggle, CPI-M government killed the people and blaming the agitators as anarchists and anti-social elements. Do you follow different policies in various states?, he questioned.

"Number of CPI-M teams from Kerala and West Bengal have been visiting Mudigonda and Kalingnagar, but West Bengal government not allowed Jnanapeeth award winner Mahaswetha Devi and Narmada Bachao leader Medha Patkar in to Nandigram," he pointed out.

Rain gods advance thermal power overhaul

The power generation and supply position in the State improved considerably. Currently AP TRANSCO is supplying 162MU/day and meeting a peak demand of 7300MW. Thanks to good rains, Srisailam reservoir received large inflows since last week of June 2007. Therefore Power generation is maximized at both the power stations in coordination with irrigation department.

Owing to availability of 2200 MW hydro power (Srisailam 1500 MW and Nagarjuna Sagar 700 MW), the annual overhaul of thermal machines is advanced. The annual over haul of 7 thermal units of the state of capacity 1120 MW (RTPP-1, VTPS-1&4 and KTPS-2,3,8,9) and one unit of Kaiga Atomic power station of capacity 70 MW (AP share) in Central sector are already completed.

Power generation at Nagarjunasagar Left and Right power house (50 MW), Pochampadu power house (9MW) and Tungabhadra Power house (30 MW) also commenced. Currently 18000 cusecs water is being released through Nagarjuna Sagar Main Power House generating around 9 MU / day. Generation at Srisailam Power Station is being made as per requirement releasing up to 40000 Cusec generating around 20 MU/day due to decreased inflows into this reservoir as suggested by irrigation department.

At present the base availability is 114.1 MU (4756 MW) and hydel generation is 47.95 MU (2544 MW). During 2007-08 (from April to July), APTRANSCO supplied on an average 159.46 MU/day as against 152.25 MU/day during corresponding period last year, registering an increase of 4.7 per cent. The peak demand met (from April to July) in 2007-08 was 8337 MW as against 8104 MW during corresponding period last year, registering an increase of 2.9 per cent.

Article: YS Jagan The Gen-Next Ramoji Rao!

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Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy is a highly intelligent young man. He is soft-spoken but at the same time, he is also shrewd and successful businessman. He has built up a formidable business empire in a short span of time.

Father Y S Rajashekar Reddy is naturally proud of his son’s achievements. And like all doting fathers, he wants his son to go higher and higher and notch up many more successes.

Jagan now wants to replicate this success in the media field too. So has now trained his sight on building up a media empire. He has announced the launch of a Telugu newspaper Saakshi, which will come out with a record 19 editions from day one.

Work is on full swing and top journalists are being hired at hitherto unheard of salaries. The paper is scheduled for launch in January, on Sankranthi to be precise.

Jagan is also firming up plans to launch a 24x7 TV Indira TV.

Along with the 24x7 news channel, there are reports that plans are afoot to start an entertainment channel as well. And the popular FM radio space is also being eyed. And the web is of course a natural extension of the print media. So, Sakshi will naturally have an Internet edition too. So, Jagan is likely to have presence in all the four media segments by 2008.

The paper and the channel are expected to give him a firm foothold in the media space in Andhra Pradesh. And starts with the advantage of having the government on his side. Which more or less will take care of the advertisements.

The paper is likely to click, as it is going to be a well designed and a quality product. The paper is likely to priced at just One Rupee for strategic reasons. This could turn out to be its USP as the other papers in the market like Eenadu; Andhra Jyothi etc. are priced at Rs. 3/- on weekdays and higher on Sundays.

Jagan’s yet to be launched daily has already put established papers like Vaartha, Andhra Prabha and Andhra Bhoomi on notice.

Come 2008 and we will have a new media mogul on the AP horizon.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Spotlight: Tirupati mulls dress code for women

Moved by a complaint of a Lord Balaji devotee who was perturbed by women worshippers wearing what he considered immodest clothes, the Tirupati temple is contemplating guidelines to help women look adequately pious.

It may become mandatory for women to wear saris, or other traditional Indian attire, if the temple’s “advisory on dress code” comes into effect.

“We will take up the issue at the next board meeting this month,” said Ramapulla Reddy, spokesman of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD).

The decision was prompted by a call made earlier this month by an incensed devotee from Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh. He had protested against women entering the temple in “indecent” clothes.

The TTD’s executive officer G Balaramaiah promised to look into the issue. He was contacted during the temple’s interactive initiative, “dial your executive officer”.

TTD spokesman Reddy said: “It’s customary for women to wear saris and men to wear dhotis, but many wear whatever they like.” TTD’s male employees have to wear dhotis and white t-shirts, and women work in saris.

However, not all temple administrators endorse the introduction of a dress code. “People know what to wear when visiting a temple,” said Hanumant B Jagtap, chief executive officer of the Siddhivinayak temple.

“At the most, they can be advised not to wear Western clothes. But compelling them to wear Indian dresses is inviting trouble.”

But a few devotees seem in favour of sartorial curbs. “The Tirupati shrine is not a restaurant where you can wear anything you fancy,” said Naveen Hegde, a Bangalore resident and a staunch follower.

Some women, however, think the champions of dress code in temples are arguing with skimpy logic: “Ban men from entering some temples in Kerala without shirts before thinking of imposing a dress code at other temples,” said Madhu SM, a Bangalorean. “

Temples are places to offer prayers and to find peace of mind. Devotees should come to visit God and not look at women.”

Fact Sheet: Ponnala becomes owner's envy!

Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah, who managed to retain his portfolio during the last Cabinet reshuffle, has become an envy for the Congressmen.

In a way, Ponnala has become more or less isolated in his Warangal district, except for a few leaders who got benefitted from him. His detractors, who were expected a change in his portfolio, are envious of his fortune, as he allegedly made millions in Jalayagnam. So, the differences among the top leaders of the Congress party in the district came to the fore when he arranged a felicitation for his follower and Warangal Zilla Parishad chairperson L Dhanawanti on completion of her one year in office on Sunday.

It turned out to be a glaringly one-sided affair with only the staunch followers of Ponnala Lakshmaiah attending the meet and others chose to be away from it. Among those top guns who were absent from the meet included; Minister for tribal welfare D S Redya Naik, DCC President and MLC Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy, city MLA Baswaraju Saraiah, Mulug MLA Podem Veeraiah, DCCB chief Konda Murali, and his wife Shyampet MLA Konda Surekha.

With the absence of top leaders, Ponnala alone had to carry the meet on his own and tried to make light of the absence of top leaders.

Chandrababu's New Deeksha- Mounavratham!

Babu's recent Breakfast-to-Dinner Deeksha invited ridicule from all quarters and did more harm than good. And the TDP chief Chandra Babu Naidu is a much-chastened man, at least for the time being.

He is now keeping a very low profile. He has now engaged himself with party activities like reorganizing the party's state and district committees.

What has not gone unnoticed is his unannounced new Deeksha – Mounvratam!

Babu was stung by the widespread criticism for some of his remarks after the Mudigonda incident. The biggest and by far the most damaging statement is his tirade against Prime minister Manmohan Singh. This time Babu went a bit too far, and a majority of the party leaders, including MLAs and MPS are openly admitting this.

The TDP Rajya Sabha MPs in particular, are aghast at what they call immature and uncalled for comments against the entry of Manmohan through Rajya Sabha.

The TDP MPs even mustered up enough courage and told Chandra Babu that his statement is likely to cause a lot of wholly uncalled for embarrassment.

They pointed out that his comments were not against one individual but the entire upper house, the Rajya Sabha.

And TDP Rajya Sabha members are worried a lot now and rightly too. If the Congress or other parties raise the issue of disrespect to the elders is raised in the house, the TDP will have no place to hide. The party stands no chance to defend itself.

Babu is a seasoned politician and he sure would know the consequences better than anybody else.

So, Babu now hopes that by keeping his mouth shut for some time, the issue will die down and he and his party would be spared potential embarrassment at the national level.

Congress pays Communists in their own coin

The Congress has finally flexed its muscles over the Mudigonda police firing. With Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy announcing a never before ex gratia to the kin of those killed in the police firing at Mudigonda village in Khammam district, the Congress Legislature Party has got emboldened and decided to take the Communists head on.

The ex gratia package is the best ever in the entire country. No State government has ever announced such a generous financial-cum-assets help to the victims of police firing.

The Congress Legislature Party on Sunday challenged the Communists to come out with a similar package for the victims of police firing in Nandigram village in West Bengal, if they are sincere and pro-poor.

The Congress knows that the Communists will never announce such a big package to the victims there. Since the Communists have already made it clear that there's no parallel between the two incidents.

As CPM State secretary BV Raghavulu has pointed out, while the people in Mudigonda were unarmed, those in Nandigram were armed with bombs and rifles.

Any way, the Congress in the State has finally come out of the Mudigonda trauma and is now able to stand up and speak daringly against the Reds.

Behind The Scene: YSR's pet gets extension!

At last, Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy managed to get extension for his special secretary M G V K Bhanu for one more year.

Bhanu has already completed a five-year deputation to the State from his native cadre of Assam. Because of this, initially the Centre did not favour his request to continue him in the State for two more years.

The Chief Minister, too, initially decided to send him back to his native post, because of lot of complaints from his MLAs and other ministers against him. However, Bhanu is the only channel for the Chief Minister to get information about his detractors both within the Congress and outside. And more over, Bhanu holds the key in irrigation sector and enjoys a strong support from YSR's friend K V P Ramachandra Rao. It is for this reason that YSR changed his mind and decided to get extension for him at least till 2009 general elections.

The Chief Minister lobbied with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to treat Bhanu's request as a special case and give approval. Chief secretary J. Harinarayana also wrote to the Centre seeking permission to utilise his services in the State. Bhanu's extension was almost confirmed during the Prime Minister's visit to city on July 31 when Dr Singh called the senior bureaucrat and greeted him in the presence of major industries minister J. Geetha Reddy. The orders to retain Mr Bhanu in the State have now been issued by the Union ministry of personal affairs.

Dr.Medasani Mohan Created History on American Soil

On the occasion of Silicon Andhra Sixth Anniversary, Silicon Andhra conducted the FIRST ever 'Sataka Padya Dhara Sammohanam' by 'Sahasravadhani' Dr. Medasani Mohan in the historic Palo Alto city, home of Stanford University. Sri Medasani was welcomed with a 'Poornakumbham' and he was taken to the auditorium in a procession where young people carrying flags and girls showering flower petals welcomed him in Telugu Traditional way. All the 63 'Pruchhakas', lined up the way as a mark of respect to the scholarship of Sri Medasani. At the entrance of the Auditorium, he was extended a warm civic welcome by Yoriko Ashimoto, the Mayor of Palo Alto. She was joined by the Silicon Andhra Executive Committee headed by the President Sripahani Vissamraju and others. Scores of people lined up the way to welcome Avadhani Medasani.

Sri Medasani was invited onto a grand stage that is fit to the king of Telugu literature. The stage was designed like the king's court and Medasani was taken onto the stage with 'Haarathulu'. The stage was already occupied by 63 Pruchhakulu.

Medasani garu created 'Pravasandhra Satakam' answering the questions posed by 63 'Pruchhakas' on the stage. In a six hour marathon session, Telugu Padyams flew freely all together 108 in number, creating the First impromptu satakam in a Sabha by an Avadhani. More than 800 people witnessed the history in making by Dr. Medasni Mohan. Some times he just took less than ten seconds to answer the response in ' Saardoolam' metered poetry. He has completed nine 'Parvamulu' depicting the lives of non resident Telugu people with single 'makutam' 'Silicon Andhra AkritI BharathI'.

At the end of the session, he was awarded the 'Silicon Andhra Avadhana Bharathi' title and felicitated in a grand traditional fashion. Dr. Medasani thanked Silicon Andhra for being the forum to create this record setting event. He said it was great literary feat that was done before in this fashion ever. At the end of the program, all the attendees were treated to a sumptuous dinner sponsored by DOSA PLACE (41043 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA 94538, Tel # 510-651-DOSA)

YSR sounds confident after Sonia's assurance

After getting a firm assurance from Madam Sonia Gandhi that there is no threat to his Chief Minister's post, notwithstanding the pressure from the Left parties, Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy is exuding supreme confidence in his actions and plans, caring a damn for the mounting criticism from the opposition parties.

So much so that he openly declared on Sunday that he would continue to be the Chief Minister for a second term as well. Apparently, YSR convinced Sonia that he should be in that post for another seven to eight years, if he has to complete all the irrigation projects under Jalayagnam. The Chief minister is also certain that his government will be able to ensure completion of 58 to 60 lakh houses under Indiramma scheme by the time they face elections.

Claiming that his government is the only one in the country with such magnanimous welfare programs, Rajasekhar Reddy invited the opposition parties to prove that he is wrong. "I am asking the opposition through the media to let me know if any other government in the country is involved in such ambitious programs for the people of their states" Chief Minister said.

Alladi, Umareddy, KEK out of TD politburo

Former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu had wielded axe on senior TD leaders Alladi Rajkumar, Umareddy Venkateswarlu, A Ramana, KE Krishnamurthy and Yusuf Ali.

These TD leaders have been dropped from the politburo of the Telugu Desam. The politburo is an important decision-making body and their removal from such an important body means that these leaders have been cut to size.

Chandrababu Naidu has ensured that the State committee of the party is a dummy organisation with "yes sir" people.

KAD lends a new dimension to Telugu Entertainment

Edison, New Jersey – Aug 4th 2007: Most Telugu entertainment events held abroad have been enthusiastic efforts by few individuals, yet lacking expertise or professionalism.

This was the scenario even in Movie and home video distribution earlier, however KAD lead the way by streamlining the segment of theatrical and DVD distribution of Telugu films and significantly contributed to the growth and quality in these areas.

Now, KAD Imagilight has ventured into another aspect of South Indian Entertainment – the staged entertainment by presenting Manisharma Live at NJ. The event which took place on the 27th of Jul’ 2007 at the prestigious Royal Albert’s palace in New Jersey was as reported earlier a memorable success.

Now KAD has contracted a couple of the most sought after stage performers in Telugu - Shiva Reddy the King of Comic skits and Vijayalakshmi the queen of Stage Singing. KAD will be presenting a series of entertainment and musical events with the participation of these two artists in the USA and then the rest of the world. This is a modest beginning to a more exciting shape of events to come.

The events that KAD will conceive and execute will be a cut above the rest. Extensively publicized, meticulously planned, diligently designed to entertain, and carefully executed events will be KAD’s motto.

As had been proven in Hollywood and Bollywood, the staged entertainment segment has huge potential and many takers, but unfortunately it lacked professionalism. But the possibilities such scenario presents are quite exciting. KAD will now strive to make a difference in this area.

We are delighted to exclusively bring this series of events with Shiva Reddy & Vijayalakshmi to the Non Resident Telugu audience world wide. Given their popularity and respective strengths they will prove to be valuable assets in KAD endeavors in the staged entertainment segment, representatives of KAD opined.

To start with these two artists, KAD will now be undertaking a two month US tour performing for a fun filled 3 hour entertainment with mimicry, comedy, singing and dancing. The first of the outings will be in Portland this weekend, followed by Dallas next week. Several corporate companies have evinced keen interest to associate with the events being conceived by KAD for the US Telugu audiences, including the upcoming tour of Shiva Reddy and Vijayalakshmi.

Shiva Reddy: A popular stage comedy artist Shiva Reddy has so far performed in 2000 shows across the world. He was recently felicitated by no less than the Mega Star Chiranjeevi himself and Movie Mogul Dr. D.Rama Naidu for his outstanding talent to evoke laughter and his cheeky imitation of celebrities. He earned the sobriquet Fun Star.

Vijayalakshmi: An extremely talented singer, Vijayalakshmi has entered the Limca Book of Records for singing non-stop for 24 hours. She can impeccably imitate the voices of 30 popular singers in Bollywood and South India including Asha Bhonsle and Shamshad Begum. She is known for her energetic singing and dos.

For More Details contact Sankar Bandi @ 507-358-1319, Vasu @ 917-449-1823 or visit http://www.SecondShows.com

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Desam hopes to regain hold in Andhra

With an eye on regaining hold in Coastal Andhra, the Telugu Desam has set its eyes on strengthening the party in the nonth-coastal, once its stronghold. With the Assembly polls less than a couple of years away, the party has decided to concentrate upon the issues that will have impact upon the commoners and to become dearer to them.

A special team comprising important party leaders and TD public representatives would be touring the three districts of north Andhra for a week starting from August 11. The team would study the issues of bauxite mining, sand mining, ammonia nitrate storage facility, sale of Yarada and Kapparada hills by Vuda and Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, which the party was opposing. The team would also derive strategies to get the public support on these issues.

The local party leaders and the activists are striving hard to gain the public support, which might fetch votes to the party in the coming elections, sources say..

Third Front? It has already collapsed: Yechury

The newly formed eight-party Third Front has already collapsed, Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury says, hinting that his party is moving closer again to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to form a 'third alternative'.

Saying that the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) had become 'redundant' after the AIADMK broke ranks to back Bhairon Singh Shekhawat in the presidential election, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Yechury made it clear that his party stood for 'a third alternative, not a Third Front'.

Yechury indicated in an interview with IANS that there may not be much hindrance to the creation of a new alliance of parties genuinely opposed to both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

'I think it (UNPA) is already redundant with (AIADMK leader J.) Jayalalitha going her way in the presidential election. This also points to the fallacy of forming fronts as distinct from ideologically based alternatives,' he said.

'We have all along maintained that we are for a third alternative and not a third front, and we are trying to create this third alternative the way we visualize it,' he said.

'That (demands) unity on various issues like the negative impact of economic reforms and a concerted and determined fight against communalism. We are willing to align with those forces to create a third alternative that are ready to come with us on both these issues. We are on the job,' he added.

Yechury also made it evident that the CPI-M was all set to make up with the TDP, its former ally and now the main opposition party in Andhra Pradesh.

'It's not us who broke away from the TDP, it is the other way round. The TDP broke away from us on issues relating to economic reforms and communalism,' said the Rajya Sabha MP and politburo member of the party. 'It is they who went over to the other side.'

Yechury was responding to a question: 'Do you rule out any realignment with the TDP in the next general election?'

The presidential election, won by the Congress-Left-BSP candidate Pratibha Patil, also saw the Samajwadi Party, a long-time CPI-M ally, move away and join hands with the Third Front along with the TDP and others.

Yechury said the Samajwadi Party, now the main opposition party in Uttar Pradesh, was also with the Marxists on the issue of battling communalism as well as rightwing economic policies.

The police firing on CPI-M workers in Khammam in Andhra Pradesh last month, leading to the death of six communists, has sparked a war of words between the CPI-M and the Congress.

But Yechury played down any threat to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in New Delhi as a consequence.

'The problems between the Congress and the Left have existed for long in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura. That didn't prevent us from supporting the Congress and the UPA at the national level to prevent communal forces from coming to power.

'But to think that this (Andhra police firing) will have no effect whatsoever is also not correct because the way the Congress is targeting the CPI-M, it will definitely have a souring effect (in our relations).'

On the Indo-US nuclear deal, once a sore point with the Left, Yechury said so far he has no grouse against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

'Our position is that the bottom line is the assurance given by the prime minister on Aug 17 last year in the Rajya Sabha. I had raised nine areas of concern in which India's interests should not be compromised.

'To be fair to the prime minister, he gave an assurance,' said Yechury. 'The prime minister claims that all the nine points are met. He said this pointing a finger at me and reminding me of my nine points.'

TDP charges congress of wasting public money

Accusing the Congress government of wasting public money on publicity, the main opposition TDP demanded a white paper on the funds spent on publicity during the last three years.

Though congress had in the past criticised the tdp regime on publicity spending, it had been going overboard to promote the image of Chief minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, senior TDP Legislator E Dayakar Rao alleged at a press conference here.

He challenged the government to publish a white paper covering the previous government's expenditure also. alleging that the government had drawn up a Rs 100 crore publicity blitzkrieg, Rao said his party would take the issue to the people and the day was not far off when the ruling party would be taught a fitting lesson for its misdeeds.

Citing the instance of Health minister S Chandrasekhar facing the public wrath yesterday at Mudigonda village, the scene of the July 28 police firing that claimed seven lives, he said a similar fate awaited the ruling party leaders. the TDP leader claimed that the government's reported move to launch a major publicity drive was aimed at covering up its omissions and commissions.

"However, they will not succeed in their designs, however hard they may try," Rao added.

TDP charges congress of wasting public money

Accusing the Congress government of wasting public money on publicity, the main opposition TDP demanded a white paper on the funds spent on publicity during the last three years.

Though congress had in the past criticised the tdp regime on publicity spending, it had been going overboard to promote the image of Chief minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, senior TDP Legislator E Dayakar Rao alleged at a press conference here.

He challenged the government to publish a white paper covering the previous government's expenditure also. alleging that the government had drawn up a Rs 100 crore publicity blitzkrieg, Rao said his party would take the issue to the people and the day was not far off when the ruling party would be taught a fitting lesson for its misdeeds.

Citing the instance of Health minister S Chandrasekhar facing the public wrath yesterday at Mudigonda village, the scene of the July 28 police firing that claimed seven lives, he said a similar fate awaited the ruling party leaders. the TDP leader claimed that the government's reported move to launch a major publicity drive was aimed at covering up its omissions and commissions.

"However, they will not succeed in their designs, however hard they may try," Rao added.

Green Card groom? No thanks!

WHILE the very nature of urban marriages has altered drastically in recent times, the selection of suitable partners is also undergoing major changes. For one thing, it’s no longer a case of ‘Green Card holder preferred’, once a common line in matrimonial ads.

“Earlier, many parents preferred an NRI groom because they believed he was better settled and had better career opportunities,” explains Manjunath Bijahalli, co-founder of the Returned NRI Association. “When we left India, it was with the knowledge that we would be earning six-to-seven times more than our peers back home. But today, with the economic boom and rising salaries in India, going to the US is not as attractive as before,” he says.

Records at various matrimonial services reflect this trend. “If a woman has to choose between a goodlooking, rich prospect in Sydney and a less-endowed groom from Mumbai, she is now more likely to pick the latter,” says Prithvi Banwasi, owner of a marriage bureau. “It’s not just that India is progressing rapidly; it’s also because an increasing number of young women getting married and going abroad face unhappy circumstances.”

According to advocate Sachidanand Murthy, “Many girls complain of physical abuse and infidelity when they join their husbands abroad. In these marriages, there often isn’t enough time to get to know the groom or check his credentials. That’s a risk modern, independent women are not willing to take,” he adds. Take, for instance, the case of Preeti Sharma. “When I met my husband here he seemed to be a confident individual, who promised me love and support,” she says. “But within days of joining him in the US I realised he was an alcoholic who would get aggressive with me. When efforts to get him to change his ways failed, I fled. I was working in a software firm here and earning good money. It didn’t seem worth suffering when I could get my life back.”

Aditi Kapur returned within a month of joining her husband in the UK. “He was a loner and said he had married only because his parents had forced him to. He made this shocking revelation just a couple of days after I landed there. He didn’t have many friends, wouldn’t talk to me or take me out anywhere. I became depressed and after two months, begged my parents to get me back,” Aditi says.

Having heard of this and other similar experiences, Ramya Rao and her parents decided to stick to a desi groom. “At least I am with my own people and if things go wrong, I can move on with my life,” says Ramya.

Marriage counsellor Saul Pereira says he has seen many women do better in their lives after their divorce. “Although I don’t encourage breaking up relationships, you can’t fool the modern woman,” he says. “They are not as tolerant as the previous generation. Five years ago, a woman would plead to stay with a husband no matter what; today’s girls are leaving their husbands if their expectations are not met.”

Saul says that it’s important to get pre-marital counselling for youngsters, especially in NRI marriages. “It helps develop coping mechanisms. And it’s always better to run a background check on prospective grooms, not just for financial stability, but lifestyle and regular habits,” he says.

There are no doubt many examples of successful NRI marriages. “

alk: BJP signature campaign on Telangana

The Bharatiya Janata Party will undertake a signature campaign in the entire region as part of efforts to exert pressure on the government to ensure formation of separate Telangana before 2009.

Accordng to party sources, the party will organise conventions and other interactive sessions to step up the separate Telangana movement and achieve statehood to the region at the earliest. The Chief Minister Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy managed to stay back in the post by convincing AICC president Sonia Gandhi despite the vociferous demands for his replacement in the aftermath of the Mudigonda incident, he said. The inept administration of the Congress government has virtually destabilized all crucial spheres.

The BJP leadership are of the view that there is a need to take up joint struggles by all the opposition parties to revive the democratic values in the State. Any takers?

Buzz: TRS comes to the rescue of Cong!

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi is doing what the Congress is unable to do with regard to taking on the Communists in their own soil.

TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao, who has been touring the Singareni Coal belt from Khammam to Adilabad, has been attacking the Communists more vociferously than the Congress, which is sitting pretty now. While expressing sympathies to the members of the bereaved families of Mudigonda firing victims, KCR lambasted the Communists for playing with the lives of innocent Telangana farmers in the name of land agitation. He has been telling the public that the Communists would always play a second fiddle to the parties like the Congress and the Telugu Desam, but hoodwink the people saying they were fighting form them. In fact, they were making innocent people scapegoats in their so called agitation.

The Congress leadership is more than happy, as there is at least one party which is supporting it in tackling the land struggles launched by the Communists. Though KCR is trying to give a Telangana twist to the land struggles, the Congress has found reason to convince the people about the dubious role of the Communists.

Fact Sheet: It's TRS vs TRS in Singareni polls!

Strange as it might sound, the elections for recognized Union in the Singareni is being fought between two groups, each led by a TRS leader.

The elections are fought between Singareni Miners and Engineering Workers Union affiliated to the Hind Mazdoor Sangh and the Telangana Boggugani Karmika Sangham affiliated to TRS. The HMS is being led by TRS MLA Nayani Narasimha Reddy, who is campaigning for its affiliate SMEWU, while none other than TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao is campaigning for TBKS.

Nayani Narasimha Reddy was leading the HMS in the sate before he joining the TRS and continuing association with TRS and held position in the same. And, he, too has been focussing on the Telangana demand. In view of Nayani's lead role in the TRS, Prof. Kodandaram Reddy, Convenor of 'Telangana Vidya Vanthula Vedika' mediated and held talks with local leaders of HMS to put up joint fight by Telangana Singaeni Employees Union (TSEU), TBGKS and HMS. But talks were failed with HMS and now TBGKS and TSEU fighting the elections jointly.

The leaders of TBGK leaders are now alleging that the HMS was indirectly supporting the INTUC affiliate to the Congress, which was sabotaging the Telangana cause. But it is yet to be known whether this unhealthy contenst will spoil the relationship between Nayani and KCR.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

TDP charges congress of wasting public money

Accusing the Congress government of wasting public money on publicity, the main opposition TDP demanded a white paper on the funds spent on publicity during the last three years.

Though congress had in the past criticised the tdp regime on publicity spending, it had been going overboard to promote the image of Chief minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, senior TDP Legislator E Dayakar Rao alleged at a press conference here.

He challenged the government to publish a white paper covering the previous government's expenditure also. alleging that the government had drawn up a Rs 100 crore publicity blitzkrieg, Rao said his party would take the issue to the people and the day was not far off when the ruling party would be taught a fitting lesson for its misdeeds.

Citing the instance of Health minister S Chandrasekhar facing the public wrath yesterday at Mudigonda village, the scene of the July 28 police firing that claimed seven lives, he said a similar fate awaited the ruling party leaders. the TDP leader claimed that the government's reported move to launch a major publicity drive was aimed at covering up its omissions and commissions.

"However, they will not succeed in their designs, however hard they may try," Rao added.

Telugu to be taught in Hebrew University

The Israel-based Hebrew University has decided to introduce a course in Telugu at the postgraduate level. The Telugu course will begin from the next academic year in Tel Aviv.

Sri Potti Sriramulu Telugu University will conduct the course in Hebrew University. The State government has given its nod to the Telugu University to go ahead with the new course.

The State government will fund Rs 10 lakh to enable introduction of the Telugu course.

Telugu University received a letter from the director of the Depatrtment of Asian Languages in Hebrew University saying that students in Israel are showing keen interest in learning Telugu.

Telugu to be taught in Hebrew University

The Israel-based Hebrew University has decided to introduce a course in Telugu at the postgraduate level. The Telugu course will begin from the next academic year in Tel Aviv.

Sri Potti Sriramulu Telugu University will conduct the course in Hebrew University. The State government has given its nod to the Telugu University to go ahead with the new course.

The State government will fund Rs 10 lakh to enable introduction of the Telugu course.

Telugu University received a letter from the director of the Depatrtment of Asian Languages in Hebrew University saying that students in Israel are showing keen interest in learning Telugu.

Nagaphani Sharma's 2nd Innings From Haridwar

The scandalous scholar Madugula Nagaphani Sharma has been in oblivion from many months ever since he was alleged in a molestation case. Although no proceedings in that case have seen light, Nagaphani Sharma has been living far from lime light. Now after a long hibernation he is getting ready to start his second innings. But that is not from anywhere in AP.

As Sharma is a great scholar in Sanskrit as well, he is flying to Haridwar in Uttaranchal state to conduct Bhagawad Saptaaham for 7 days there. His brother in law is playing the coordinator role in this.

So, multifaceted Sharma can make his living anywhere in his own style. The event is going to held between September-October.

Andhra Politics is all Maya

Even as politics in the state took a new turn last week with the unprecedented police firing in Mudigonda, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati’s long shadow has started falling on Andhra Pradesh. No, Mayawati has not disclosed her intention to mobilise the Dalits in Andhra Pradesh. Neither has she commented on the Khammam firing incident, but with her ascendancy to power in the largest state in the country, New Delhi’s outlook towards the creation of a separate Telangana state has changed. If the thinking in Raisina Hills previously was to seriously consider forming the new state if that would help the fortunes of the Congress party in Andhra Pradesh in Elections 2009, that point of view has now been jettisoned. This since Mayawati would hate any move to create smaller states. Reason? The pressure will be on her to agree for breaking Uttar Pradesh into two smaller states, compact and easier to administer. In fact, the ideological battle has already begun with even unrelated people including former cabinet secretary B G Deshmukh mouthing the theory that no state should be allowed to have more than 10 per cent of the total seats in Lok Sabha.
It would not be lost on the Dalit queen that this ideology is being propagated only to keep her away from being a major force in the politics of Delhi. But that she will be in the run up to Elections 2009, and for that reason the Congress party diametrically opposed to both Mulayam Singh Yadav and BJP-have to get her on their side. It is no gain saying that the Telangana movement has become defunct (at least for the time being) what with many netas of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) being compromised in the fake passport scam. And although TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao has announced his padyatra, nobody really has faith in his ability to keep the momentum up. “Had the movement for Telangana generated immense pressure at the ground level then the Mayawati factor could have been offset by this movement. But then there is not much evidence of this,” a political analyst said. Babu’s offensive
In fact, Telangana is on the back-burner for the time being what with TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu having launched a full scale offensive against the government of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. With Naidu and YSR being on the same wavelength as far as Telangana is concerned (both don’t want a separate state), the political discourse till last fortnight was all about the performance of the incumbent government and the riches allegedly amassed by YSR and his ministers. Naidu brigade’s charge has been that the government is very very corrupt and has nothing to show on the ground. With Mudigonda happening, Naidu has latched himself to the Left agenda of land reforms and is now making common cause with them. The unstated offer from Naidu to the Left: “Let’s work together, With such a small vote base that you Left parties have, you can come to power only riding piggyback on a bigger party like TDP. There is no scope for a third option in the bi-polar polity of AP.” But sections of the Left would not have anything to do with him precisely because they feel that Naidu’s TDP being the bigger partner will corner the electoral benefits that this agenda may yield.
Moreover they also feel that TDP is itself a ‘bourgeoise’ party and therefore not in a position to participate in the movement. The whole programme of landfor-the-landless will go off track with the involvement of the TDP, they aver. Some of them feel that while opposing the Congress, they can still gain by remaining in limited alliance with that party. As 2009 comes closer Naidu and TDP will bank more and more on the anti-incumbency factor that will hit the YSR government. Chandrababu Naidu is also trying to weave a magic around the name of N T Rama Rao and hopes that this will fetch votes. After all NTR is the man who a quarter century ago entered the Andhra political scene as a tornado, displacing the Congress for the first time in the state. NTR’s son and film actor Balakrishna will be used to substitute for his father, in some way. Naidu’s problem is that his party’s policies are similar to that of the Congress. Both the parties are for growth, increasing agricultural production and economic liberalisation. “So TDP perforce has to bank only on the anti-incumbency of the YSR government,” an analyst said. YSR’s gameplan
No neta in power will ever give it up, willingly. This is especially true for Y S Rajasekhara Reddy who came to his present position after immense labour and toil. YSR has been in state politics for the last quarter of a century but it took ten year’s of anti-incumbency of the Naidu regime and padyatras across the state to bring him to power. It is clear that YSR will do what he can to retain power and get back to the CM’s gaddi at the next election. Of course Congress politics is all about the high command destabilising regional satraps every now and then. But this strategy, perfected during the time of Indira Gandhi, is these days being played at a very low-key level. Not surprising because the Congress of Sonia Gandhi is not the Congress of the yore of Indira Gandhi.
New Delhi’s new strategy is a measure of relief for YSR, but more important is the fact there are no internal challengers for his gaddi. In the state, the Hyderabad brothers—Shashidhar Reddy and P Janardhan Reddy—who are the most visible faces of dissidence are not strong enough. At the centre, Jaipal Reddy is almost petrified to raise his voice in Hyderabad. Former chief minister N Janardhan Reddy does not have age on his side. Pradesh Congress chief Keshava Rao is a paper tiger. And aspirant for the CM’s post in 2004, D Srinivas, a minister in YSR’s cabinet is a non-entity. This in spite of the fact that he is a member of the other backward castes (OBC), which these days is politically the most important caste. Equally important, YSR who by now has perfected the art of realpolitik, has friends in the Delhi durbar. Those in the know of things say that he keeps them happy and in turn they speak up for him when required. Besides YSR also maintains good relations with both Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. Even as he has kept New Delhi happy, YSR’s feudal background has helped him in politics. Loyalty comes naturally to him, as do relationships of all kinds: caste, kin, region and friendships. Armed with these YSR has built a strong network of loyalists who swear by him. “YSR banks on these and very rightly so,” says an analyst. In fact there is a line of thinking that if YSR is pushed into a corner by the high command, the possibility of his breaking the Congress party in the state and creating an “Andhra Congress” party cannot be ruled out. “If that happens, politics of Andhra Pradesh will become like the politics of Tamil Nadu. There will be two regional parties vying for power and the national parties will have to say bye bye,” the analyst said. Of course, at the present moment there is no indication of all this happening. For the time being, YSR is busy disengaging the Left from the TDP and patching up with the former. With Manmohan Singh’s government dependent on Left support, he has been told to make up with the Red brigade. In particular he will have to devote his attention to CPM’s state secretary B V Raghavalu and Sitaram Yechury of the central unit. That’s not going to be an easy job. No OBC consolidation
Over fifty years ago, one of India’s most famous sociologist M N Srinivas noted how Indian politics revolved around castes. About Andhra Pradesh he pointed out that the Reddys entered the Congress party, while their rivals in the village society, the Kammas entered the Communist party. This trend had become so pronounced that oldtimers remember how they used to jeer that it was not Communist but ‘Kammanist’ party. Even as the Congress made headway in state politics, the Communists remained far behind. Due to changes in national level politics, the Communist party broke down into the CPI and the CPM.
It was only in the early 1980s, celluloid hero N T Rama Rao burst into the political scene riding on the sentiment of neglect at the hands of the central government that the Telugus were feeling and also riding on Kamma aspirations. The only constant in Indian politics is change. Even as the Reddys and Kammas dominated the Andhra Pradesh electoral scene with their minuscule numbers, an OBC ferment has begun in the state. Numerically the OBCs comprise 50 per cent of the electorate of the state, but their voice in Andhra Pradesh politics is not really heard. But OBC consciousness is now increasing, especially among the Kapus and Gouds. This, by itself does not help because the OBCs are divided. Even Kapus do not present an unified picture: Kapus of Telangana are different from that of the coastal districts, who are distinct from those in Rayalaseema. The Kapus, the most likely candidates for leadership of the OBC grouping, are in search of a leader. Tentatively they have zeroed in on superhero of Tollywood, Chiranjeevi. The gamble is that Chiranjeevi with his appeal cutting across castes might be able to weave a magic, in the same way that N T Rama Rao did 25 years ago. The problem? Chiranjeevi himself. Analysts across the board think that the star is not quite ready to take the jump into the ocean of politics. But the Kapus are keeping their fingers crossed. They know that if Chiranjeevi has to enter politics, it has to be now. Otherwise it will be too late to weld the Kapus together into a composite force.

Report: Why did Narendra choose to join BSP?

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The reports that Telangana Rashtra Samithi (N) president A Narendra is toying with the idea of joining Bahujan Samaj Party has raised many an eyebrow in the political circles.

First question that arose was why Narendra chose to join the BSP. The argument once again is that there is a possibility of Dalits in Andhra Pradesh getting consolidated and wrest power from the upper castes on the lines of BSP in Uttar Pradesh, provided they fight unitedly. Though the BSP has a very little presence in AP with just one MLA, there is also every possibility that it would grow into a full fledged political party if there is a strong leader to take the lead role. So far, the BSP doesn't have any strong leader. So, Narendra might have thought he would get the lead role in building the BSP in Andhra Pradesh.

But whether BSP president Mayawati would accept Narendra as the leader of BSP in AP is a difficult question. First, Narendra is not a Dalit leader but only a BC leader. Secondly, Narendra has been identified with the separate Telangana movement and a strong votary of this struggle. On the other hand, the BSP would not like to confine itself to just a few pockets of Telangana, but would like to grow into a bigger player in the AP politics. Therefore, Narendra might not fit the bill.

Why then is Narendra is meeting Mayawati? He tried to project himself as an alternative leader to K Chandrasekhar Rao and launched his own party, but he is not able to receive any support from any people or cadres, except a handful of leaders around him. So, if he gets the support from his old fried Mayawati, it would be useful to him politically. Hence, the idea, observers say.

Leftists play dual role at Centre and State

There appears to be no consistency in the stand taken by the Communist parties – CPI and CPI-M – insofar as having an alliance with the Congress. A strange phenemenon is now being witnessed in their political stand at the Centre and the State.

Going by the reports from New Delhi, it is apparently not happy with the United Progressive Government at the Centre. Its national secretary A B Bardhan has been openly saying that the CPI might withdraw its support to the UPA government at any time, because the Manmohan Singh government is caring a damn for the CPI's suggestions. Therefore, Bardhan is accusing the Congress of going against the Common Minmum Programme. He is even pressurising the CPI-M to withdraw its support to the UPA government.

On the other hand, the CPI-M has been showing a soft corner towards the UPA government, inspite of the latter deviating from the CMP at times. Its national secretary Prakash Karat is dead against withdrawal of support to the UPA, as it would only help the BJP to stage a comeback.

In AP, these parties are going exactly in the opposite direction. The CPM has been colluding with the Telugu Desam to pull down Rajasekhara Reddy government, while the CPI is discreetly supporting it. If at all the TD comes back into power in 2009, then the Communists change their colours very quickly. So, that is Communism!!

Fact Sheet: Madam pulls up maverick KK!

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The maverick Pradesh Congress Committee president K Kesava Rao, who is known for his foot-in-the-mouth syndrome, had to incur the wrath of Madam Sonia Gandhi for losing tongue at the Communist parties.

Sonia summoned Kesava Rao along with Chief Minister to New Delhi to seek their personal explanation on the Mudigonda firing incident. While YSR could give a convincing explanation to the Madam about the incident, Kesava Rao tried to project an intellectual perspective of the land struggle by communists. But Sonia had already in posession of the report obtained from the State about Kesava Rao's diatribe against the Communist parties, particularly CPI-M leader B V Raghavulu, attributing casteist feelings to him. She gave a dressing down to Kesava Rao for spoiling the relations between the CPI-M and the Congress, as it had created a sensitive situation for the UPA government at the Centre. She reportedly instructed him to remove the bad blood between the two parties.

A red-faced Kesava Rao had to tell mediapersons later that the Communists were still his friends of the Congress and they had a lot of common interests. He gave an explanation that he had already withdrawn the comments he had made against Raghavulu and was ready to apologise. Despite his foul-mouthing, Kesava Rao got an assurance from the high command that he would not be replaced at this juncture.

Political parties responsible for violence: Court

The AP High Court has felt that political parties should be held responsible for any violence that takes place during agitation sponsored by them, like dharnas, rasta rokos and protest demonstrations.

The HC was hearing arguments on a writ petition filed by Telugu Desam secretary PNV Prasad on Mudigonda police firing.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice G S Singhvi and Justice CV Nagarjuna Reddy said leaders who instigate agitators should be arrested.

Industrialist KS Raju gets six months jail term

Nagarjuna Finance Limited promoter-director KS Raju has been sentenced to a jail term of six months in a contempt case.

The AP High Court on Friday sentenced Raju to the jail term and imposed a fine of Rs 2000. The court also asked him to bear the food expenses while serving the prison term.

Justice Anand Reddy pronounced the judgement for wilfully disobeying of the orders of the court.

Edupuganti Bapanaiah, resident of Kolluru village in Guntur district, filed a contempt petition against Raju, N Selvaraj, president of Nagarjuna Finance Limited and Nagarjuna Finance.

He urged the court that the respondents had wilfully disobeyed the orders passed by Company Law Board, Chennai, seven years ago. They had also committed breach of the affidavit filed in the court in April, 2001.

Political Talk: Sonia gives clean chit to YSR

The dissidents in the state are in for a shock. They hoped that the Mudigonda issue would put chief minister YS Rajashekar Reddy in the dock. But their fond hopes are fizzling out fast. The PM Manmohan Singh who was in Hyderabad in the aftermath of the Mudigonda incident did not say a word against the CM or the government.

Now party chief Sonia Gandhi has also not said or done anything that gives an impression that she is not happy with the functioning of the Rajashekar Reddy government. In fact, she is reported to have gone ahead and patted the CM on his back for doing a fairly good job.

The chief minister is in Delhi and he met party chief Sonia Gandhi. The meeting lasted for well over an hour. In the meeting the Chief Minster is said to have explained to Sonia Gandhi the events leading to the firing incident at Mudigonda.

Sonia is reported to have agreed with the view of the CM that the government not only reacted very fast but also had no role in the unfortunate incident that led to the death of seven people. (The toll has now gone up to eight).

Sonia is said to have advised the CM not to take too much notice of the criticism of the opposition parties but instead, he should step up the developmental works.

So YSR returns from Delhi with a fait accompli. His hands have now been further strengthened after meting Sonia Gandhi. He has managed to curb any threat of dissidence against him from his party men. Sonia is also expected to sort out the difference with the leftists at the national level.

Sonia had also called PJR to Delhi last week and that issue is also now a closed chapter. So YS is now grinning as he has managed to convince Sonia Gandhi that he is doing his best.

So the threat that was looming large over YSR’s head seems to have been blown away now.

Friday, August 3, 2007

potlight: Dogs cheaper than police!

Strange as it might sound, the Police department has come to a conclusion that trained dogs work out to be cheaper than recruiting more policemen.

Official sources say the department is planning to increase tracker dogs services on a large scale, as they are not only cheaper, but also more effective than the policemen due to the special ability. Each police circle in the State will get tracker dogs facility with in short period. To meet this new methodology the police officers were trying to procure Alsatian, Doberman Pinscher, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel breed of dogs.

Since dogs have extraordinary power of sniffing, Ultrasonic hearing capability, and possess night vision capability, the department feels dogs are ready to work under all geo-climatic conditions, relatively inexpensive and easy to train. Police officials strongly believe that dogs are faithful, alert and be trained to be aggressive.

Now, proposals are flooding from all the districts for getting more dogs. Why then are the police? Let it be a dog's department!

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