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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Are Cong, TD schemes to preempt Chiranjeevi?

The Congress and the Telugu Desam have come out with a number of populist schemes promising that they would implement several programmes for the people if elected to power in the May 2009 elections. Though elections are a cool 18 months away, these two main political parties rushed to announce the schemes, catching the attention of voters.

According to informed sources, the sudden rush in announcements is just a clever political ploy to preempt any move by popular film star Chiranjeevi from announcing a political party. Even if Chiranjeevi announces his own political party, these parties feel that it will not make any dent in their vote banks since they had already come out with a series of populist schemes including the Rs 2 a kg rice programme and free power to farmers. This is nothing but to confuse the voters. Chiranjeevi, in case, he forms a political party has to announce these same schemes. Then the Congress and the Telugu Desam will say that the film star has nothing new to offer to the voters, since they had already announced the populist schemes.

Naidu Promises: Gift of colour television sets?

Hyderabad: Telugu Desam President N. Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday continued the spate of promises on behalf of the party by announcing that he would include in its election manifesto a legal provision for the poor to sell assigned lands.

Addressing a press conference, he also declared that the TDP, if elected to power, would also ensure that every poor family living in rural and urban areas would have a house. To a question whether he would match the DMK Government’s gift of colour television sets, he quipped, “Why not, we shall see.”

Mr. Naidu justified the sops he proposes to give on the ground that the TDP had always been advocating an alternative economic policy to ensure that the benefits of reforms reached the poor. He called for a Statewide debate on the performance of the Congress Government as people needed to be informed of how it had ‘failed miserably’ in fulfilling its pre-poll promises. It should be a point-wise debate of the promises made and to what extent they were delivered.

Fact Sheet: Babu's exam paper for YSR

Yes, it's 100 questions. The Telugu Desam has been coming out with questionnaires time and again on various issues. First it began with a set of a dozen questions. Then it went to 30 and then to 50 and now it's altogether 100 questions. It is a sort of political examination which Telugu Desam supremo N Chandrababu Naidu has been conducting for his bete noire Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy.

On Sunday, the TD leadership came out with a set of 100 questions and demanded that Rajasekhar Reddy answer all of them. The questions ranged from so-called corruption in irrigation projects to the collapse of the scaffolding supporting the underconstruction flyover at Panjagutta in Hyderabad. There's a tagline attached to the question paper. YSR should answer the questions if he were sincere.

As usual Rajasekher Reddy does not bother to answer to TD questions. With the elections fast approaching Chandrababu Naidu is coming out with tougher questions and also increasing the number of questions. Telugu Desam senior leader Yanamala Ramakrishnudu posed the questions to the chief minister on behalf of the TD leadership.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Behind The Scene: BJP blackmails TRS

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which is desperately trying to retain its whatever little identity it has in the State by raking up the Telangana issue and entering into an alliance with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, has suffered humiliation from TRS president K Chandrasekhara Rao who outrightly rejected its friendship.

Now, the BJP is blackmailing the TRS, so as to induce the latter into a pre-poll alliance. While adopting a resolution at its recent Bhopal meeting on Telangana State, the BJP leaders are planning to launch a massive campaing in support of smaller States for decentralisation of powers and for better administration. The party wants to target KCR for playing a political game and raking up profits from the movement, rather than working with the like-minded parties like the BJP. "KCR said that he would hug even a caterpillar for the cause of separate Telangana, but now he is shying away for a united fight with the BJP for a separate State for political gains," BJP national leader Bangaru Lakshman said.

BJP national president Rajnath Singh followed a carrot and stick policy. He gave an option to the TRS president. If the TRS does not want to be a part of the NDA, it can join hands with the BJP only till the Telangana is achieved. Will KCR take the bite?

Why is Sonia pampering AP leaders?

After a long time, AICC president Sonia Gandhi has given a wider representation to Andhra Pradesh in the latest AICC reshuffle. While retaining seniors like N Janardhan Reddy, G Venkatswamy and G Sanjeeva Reddy in the Congress Working Committee, the highest policy making body of the party, Sonia also included Rajahmundry MP Undavalli Arun Kumar as a CWC permanent invitee. Similarly, MLC P Sudhakar Reddy is retained as AICC secretary, while two others - Nizamabad MP Madhu Yashki Goud and Parvathipuram MP V Kishore Chandra Deo are included in the core team. Yaski Goud is said to be in the inner circle of Rahul Gandhi, while Kishore Chandra Deo also has good rapport with the Gandhi family.

The reasons for this 'special attachment' are not beyond comprehension. The Congress, which lost heavily in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, wants to retain its hold in Andhra Pradesh, which had sent 29 MPs to Parliament in 2004 elections, out of the Congress' overall tally of 145 in the country. AP contributed 1.49 crore votes to the Congress as against the overall vote count of 10.34 crore in the country in 2004 elections. And, if the Congress is able to hold on to its tally of seats in AP in the next Lok Sabha elections, whenever these are held, the chances are that UPA will retain power at the Centre.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fact Sheet: Kaka punctures his son-in-law!

The exercise over appointment of the new Pradesh Congress Committee president has fuelled a fresh war between senior Congress MP G Venkatswamy and his son-in-law P Shankar Rao, a former minister.

Shankar Rao is desperately trying to prevent his arch rival Mallu Ravi from becoming the PCC president and he even went to the extent of giving up his ego to meet Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy to scuttle Mallu Ravi's chances. On the other hand, Shankar Rao himself wants to become the next PCC president so that he can have the compensation for not being inducted into the State Cabinet.

Knowing this, Venkatswamy started lobbying in support of Ravi in becoming the PCC president. He suggested to the high command that Ravi would be a better choice, as he had a better relationship with the Chief Minister and would also satisfy the Telanganites. In all probability, the high command might okay Mallu Ravi's name, sources say.

All has not been well between Venkatswamy and Shankar Rao for quite sometime, particularly since the former's son G Vinod was made the minister in YSR cabinet. Shankar Rao believes that it was Venkatswamy who had stalled his chances of becoming the minister in the recent Cabinet reshuffle. Keeping that in mind, Shankar Rao did not allow his wife (Venkatswamy's daughter) to attend the funeral of her mother who died recently. The Mallu Ravi incident has created a fresh trouble between the two again.

Gallery: Team India Gets Grand Welcome

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Dhoni is best captain at the moment, says Yuvraj

MUMBAI: Lending support to victorious Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, his deputy Yuvraj Singh said the Jharkhand player, who led the team to Twenty20 World Cup win, is the best possible skipper under present circumstances.

Yuvraj said he was not bothered about captaincy and tried to cooperate with Dhoni during the Twenty20 tournament in South Africa.

"It does not matter who is the captain. Whoever is the captain, we got to support him. Dhoni has captained well in the World Cup and he is the best captain at the moment," Yuvraj said after the felicitation of the Indian team on their arrival from South Africa on Wednesday.

Appreciating the captain, Yuvraj said, "Dhoni is calm and knows what he is doing."

About his six sixes feat in an over against England, Yuvraj said he was "fired up to give the best."

Ace off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said he was confident about his ability and delivered the goods when required.

"I continued to bowl well. I knew what I can do and I can do it again and again. I am just 27 and hope to play my part for the team's cause in future," he said.

On the team's success, Harbhajan said, "we played brilliantly throughout the tournament. Yuvraj was in brilliant form. Obviously it was a batsman's game, but we got ready for the fight. It was grace of god that we won."

"I enjoyed every moment, the way I bowled, my bhangra," he said.

Reliving the catch of Misbah-ul-Haq, which was the most decisive moment in final, pacer S Sreesanth said he moved a bit earlier which helped him take the catch without any problem.

"When he (Misbah) moved, I also moved back. The improvement in fielding was because of Robin (Singh) Sir," he said.

The Kerala speedster said he was overwhelmed by the response of the fans and grand welcome accorded to the team on its return.

Sreesanth's new ball partner RP Singh also echoed the similar sentiments, saying "the rousing reception offered was 1000 times more than what he had expected."

He said the job was "challenging for the bowlers" in the Twenty20 World Cup. (PTI)

Real Estate: Framers Turned Rich And Rich Turned Farmers

Time has played with people in recent times in Hyderabad. The poor farmers who were about to die by consuming pesticide, have turned rich all of a sudden with the influx of real boom. The farmers have thrown away the pesticide bottle and took a foreign scotch bottle to enjoy! They stopped worrying about rains and their wait was stooped permanently.

But what the boom left for realtors? They are now keeping away from their scotch for not making life so expensive! Like farmers the realtors are now awaiting the rain of 'boom'! Their struggle started.

As many sane experts foreseen, the Real boom has bitten the mud now. Many realtors are worried for losing lots of investment and also for not getting any cold calls for their business as well. The land that cost Rs 1.5 Cr per acre till a few months back is now costing Rs 50 lakhs. The Koka Pet lands those were sold out at Rs 14.5 Cr in government auction has no buyers now. When the government called for an auction at Miyapur, hardly people turned up. Even the collection is not the 50% of the expected.

The downfall started ever since the result of Karimnagar election and also the series of blasts at Koti and Lumbini Park. The announcement of outer ring road, FAB City and new IT parks boosted up the real boom last year. But now, everything has been very slow and nothing is helping the real boom. The prices of lands have fallen down at many places. The realtors are losing the deposits as well.

The lands in Shamshabad area were Rs 10 lakhs per acre in 2003. But in 2006 that was shot up to Rs 1.5 Cr. Bow again, it has fallen down to 50 lakhs. Many NRIs have invested crores on Hyderabad Real Estate business. Like farmers awaiting the rainfall, now the realtors are looking out for boom-be it natural or artificial. In fact, government plans for artificial rainfall to benefit the farmers. But can't they do the same for bringing 'artificial boom'!

Former Pakistan captains rue India jinx

Karachi(IANS): Three former Pakistan cricket captains have lamented their national side's inability to overcome India after losing to their arch-rivals in the Twenty20 World Championships final in South Africa.

"But they said that the thriller was good for the game generally, and that at least Pakistan had recovered from their disastrous show at the 50-over World Cup in the West Indies earlier this year," The News reported Wednesday.

India lifted the inaugural cup with a five-run win at Johannesburg Monday - maintaining their record of beating Pakistan in every world cup match they have played in.

"It's a repeat and it will hurt the fans and players alike for some time, but apart from that jinx both teams played superbly and cricket was the winner," former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram said.

Wasim, who had tipped Pakistan to beat India, said the final was memorable.

"It was a close game and the better team won, no regrets. It was only a game and people have to take it as a game and must appreciate the quality of cricket," Akram maintained.

"I would blame Pakistan batsmen Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi for their reckless strokes and in the end Misbah-ul Haq should have played a straight bat shot," he added.

Akram said both teams had redeemed themselves after their bitter exits from the World Cup in March.

"Shoaib Malik has emerged as a great captain and the way he led the team from the front, I see Pakistan winning the World Cup in 2011," he maintained.

"India have found Mahendra Singh Dhoni as their leader and eventually he will also lead in Test cricket. I see Indian cricket going up from here and it is a boost to Twenty20 because India has the market to lift any form of the game," Akram contended.

Another former captain, Javed Miandad, blamed Pakistan's defeat on the lack of planning.

"We have maintained our losing streak to India in World Cup matches and I would blame poor planning for that. Why did Malik not come in at number three instead of Kamran Akmal?" Miandad wondered.

Intikhab Alam, also a former captain and manager of the 1992 World Cup winning team, said India holds a psychological edge over Pakistan in big games.

"The World Cup jinx continues and India seems to have an edge over us in all World Cup matches. But I am grateful to the Pakistan team for making the final a fitting one," he maintained.

Fact Sheet: Cong checkmates Madhu Yashki

When Nizamabad MP Madhu Yashki was inducted into the AICC executive committee as one of the secretaries, everybody thought it was a slap on the face of Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy and a fillip to the Telangana movement, as Yashki is a die hard supporter of Telangana and a bitter critic of YSR government.

But a close analysis of the high command's decision reveals that there is more to it than what meets the eye. Madhu Yashki was taken into the AICC, not to criticize YSR or clamour for Telangana, but only to silence his voice. There had been reports for quite some time that Madhu was planning to join the Telangana Rashtra Samithi before the next Parliament and Assembly elections and that he already had talks with its president K Chandrasekhar Rao in this regard. There were also reports that if his entry into the TRS is not feasible, he might even join hands with Telugu Desam deputy leader T Devender Goud to float another party.

The Congress high command has thought that the only way to block his plans is to give him some prominent post in the AICC, so that he dare not raise his voice against the Chief Minister, nor can he run a dissident camp in the State. Since he would be closer to the high command, he would also be not in a position to raise the issue of Telangana as often as he is doing right now. The option of kicking him out, if he continues with his dissidence is always there. Since he is joining the AICC executive, he would not be in a position to bargain with KCR or Devender Goud for posts or tickets. That will be his end!

India's Twenty20 Cup heroes welcomed home

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's triumphant Twenty20 World Cup squad arrived home from South Africa on Wednesday with thousands of joyous fans gathering at the airport to greet them.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team mates were greeted by the region's chief minister before being taken on an open-top bus to the Wankhede stadium for a reception hosted by the national cricket board.

Elaborate security measures were in place on the 35- kilometre journey from Mumbai airport, with giant hoardings on display to congratulate the surprise winners.

India beat arch-rivals Pakistan by five runs in a thrilling final in Johannesburg on Monday, a victory to compare with their upset 1983 World Cup final win over West Indies.

The Indian board has announced a win bonus of $3 million (1.49 million pounds) and a special cash award for batsman Yuvraj Singh, who hit six sixes in one over in a match against England.

Fact Sheet: Hyderabad Brothers the happiest lot

The sudden changes in the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee and the AICC has tiltled the fortunes of controversial Hyderabad Brothers, as legislators P Janardhan Reddy and M Sashidhar Reddy are popularly called. The two MLAs had been in trouble for their open talk against the chief minister and some of his policy decisions and programmes.

The resignation of APCC chief K Keshava Rao and the change in the AICC general secretary incharge of AP Congress affairs has changed the political equations. The Hyderabad Brothers are the happiest lot since it has given them temporary victory. They have now got ample time to convince the new APCC leadership. Since Rahul Gandhi has been appointed general secretary, these two legislators may call the shots at the Central level. Both the MLAs are close to the Gandhi family and Rahul Gandhi may help in boosting their political career further. But it all depends on how Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy will react to the situation and how much clout he enjoys with Rahul Gandhi.

Rajasekhar Reddy and the Hyderabad Brothers do not see eye-to-eye and it is to be seen how the new equations will tilt the political balance, either in favour of the chief minister or the legislator duo.

Nimmajjan: YSR survives yet again

Looks like chief minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy has got a special boon from the Dame Luck. For the third time in a row, he could succeed in holding the Ganesh Nimmajjan (immersion) programme successfully without even a single incident of communal trouble or flare up. After the twin bomb blast everyone in the State was looking at Rajasekhar Reddy wondering how he would tackle the Nimmajjan ceremony.

A little security lax would have led to a major trouble. Communal elements and a few political opponents were hell bent on creating trouble during the Ganesh festival. It was the right opportunity for these forces. Ganesh and Ramzan festivals have coincided after a gap of 27 years. Leaders of both the communities participated in the festivities without giving an opportunity to communal elements and anti-social forces in political parties. This led to the peaceful Nimmajjan.

The successful Nimmajjan is yet another feather in the cap of the chief minister. For the first time in the history of Andhra Pradesh there was no communal trouble in Hyderabad for three years in a Congress government. It seems opponents to Rajasekhar Reddy in the Congress do not see it an opportune time to hit at him through communal violence. Or people must have become wiser after seeing through the political and communal games of anti-social elements.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pakistunned! India lift Twenty 20 World Cup

A youthful Indian cricket team, full of vigour and determination, made history here Monday by beating Pakistan by five runs to clinch the Twenty20 World Championship when all seemed lost.

India kept their nerves to clinch the win with three balls to spare and sent the New Wanderers Stadium, packed with Indian supporters, into wild celebrations. There were also millions of Indian across the globe who rejoiced the sweet triumph.

Off the last over, bowled by pacer Joginder Sharma, Pakistan required 13 runs to win with the last wicket remaining - and all seemed lost for India. But Joginder, the man with the golden arm - he had also bowled the crucial final over in the semi-finals upset of Australia - castled Misbah-ul-Haq to help script an epoch-making win with and signal wild celebrations at the New Wanderers Stadium.

Scores: India 157 for five in 20 overs after winning the toss and Pakistan 152 all out in 19.2 overs.

While Joginder successfully bowled the final over, it was left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan who captured three crucial wickets in an excellent spell to tilt the tide in India's favour. His final bowling analysis of 4-0-16-3 fetched him the Man of the Match award and helped India win the maiden edition of the newest version of the game.

On a day when the Indian batsmen - barring Gautam Gambhir's resolute and enterprising 75 off 54 balls (8x4s, 2x6s) and Rohit Sharma's unbeaten 30 off 16 balls (2x4s, 1x6) - failed, the bowlers did the trick again.

Left-armer Rudra Pratap Singh also bowled superbly to start Pakistan's downfall and also ended up with three wickets. Joginder took two wickets.

Their efforts meant that Misbah's 38-ball 43 (4x6s) - the top score for Pakistan - as well as Imran Nazir's 33 (14 balls, 4x4s, 2x6) went in vain.

The only consolation for Pakistan was that Shahid Afridi, who failed to score a run and take a wicket, was adjudged the Man of the Series.

The win wiped out bad memories of the World Cup five months ago, when India - as also Pakistan - had crashed out in the first round, leading to prolonged national mourning and criticism.

The win - achieved without Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, who all had opted out - also kept India's slate clean against Pakistan in cricket's global competitions. India have never lost to Pakistan in the ODI World Cup - and now in Twenty20 too.

It was India's second win over Pakistan in the 12-nation tournament, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's boys won both. In the Super Eights, India had won the 'bowl out' tiebreaker 3-0 after their scores were tied after the regulation period.

India and Pakistan were playing for the first time in the final of a world-level tournament - if the 1985 World Championship of Cricket is not taken into account - and Dhoni's team gave much to shout about at the end of it.

India had also beaten Pakistan in the final of the World Championship of Cricket in Melbourne. Although all the Test-playing nations had taken part in that competition, it was a one-off venture organised by Victoria.

Wild celebrations erupted when Sreesanth caught a lofty shot from Misbah when the game could have gone either way.

As a despondent Haq sank to his knees while Indian players went crazy with joy, it was jubilation time for Indians.

Good bowling from Pakistan restricted the Indian batsmen, but an admirable and determined counter-attack led to Pakistan's collapse.

Chasing India's total, Pakistan got a shock early on in their innings when R.P. Singh, who is going through a purple patch, struck off the fifth ball of his first over.

As opener Mohammed Hafeez tried to guide the ball over the slips, he managed to give Robin Uthappa an easy catch at first slip. Pakistan: two for one.

With the addition of 24 runs, R.P. Singh struck again, castling an experienced wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal for nought. Pakistan: 26 for two.

Imran Nazir, who looked in ominous form, and Younis Khan then tried to steady the ship, but after adding only 26 for the third wicket Nazir (33, 14 balls, 4x4s, 2x6) became the target of Uthappa's direct throw after he reacted late to Younis's call for a run off Sreesanth.

Younis made 24 in as many balls and hit four boundaries but Joginder in the ninth removed him as he mistimed a fuller length delivery, giving Yusuf the catch at mid-on.

Soon, Malik and Afridi were also back in the pavilion. Misbah and Yasir Arafat (15) added 27 for the seventh wicket to keep Pakistan in the hunt.

Then Misbah and Sohail Tanvir added 34 crucial runs for the eighth wicket. But once Sreesanth got rid of Tanvir, all the responsibility fell on Misbah's shoulders in the company of Umar Gul and Mohammed Asif.

Eventually, Misbah also caved in under the pressure as he tried to play the scoop shot over fine leg off Joginder only to hole out into the hands of Sreesanth - and signal India's win.

Earlier in the day, Dhoni won the toss but the Indian batting failed to live up to expectations after Virender Sehwag was ruled out of the match with injury.

Even the total of 157 would not have been possible but for Gambhir's knock of 75 and young Rohit's cameo towards the end of the innings.

Yuvraj Singh, who has been in fabulous form in this competition, failed to click and managed only 14 off 19 balls (1x4) as the Pakistan bowlers and fielders looked sharp and purposeful.

Debutant Yusuf Pathan, Irfan's elder brother, had a sensational start to his international career by hitting pacer Mohammed Asif for a six as his first scoring stroke. But he scored 15 (8 balls, 1x4, 1x6) before getting out.

Pacer Umar Gul was the pick of the bowlers as he took three wickets for 28 in four overs.

Earlier, India got a scare off the very first ball of the match when non-striker Yusuf barely avoided being run out after hesitating to take a single called by Gambhir.

Undaunted, Yusuf hit the fourth ball of Asif's opening over for a huge six. He hit another boundary off a wide ball from the same bowler in the third over. But off the next ball Asif took his revenge.

Asif had the tall Vadodara batsman caught off a miscued pull shot. As Pathan tried to pull the short delivery over midwicket he mistimed it and captain Shoaib Malik at mid-on ran back to grab the catch.

As Uthappa attempted to hit over the infielders off left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir he mistimed the shot and Shahid Afridi at extra cover took a comfortable catch.

A 63-run third-wicket partnership between Gambhir, who looked in fine touch, and Yuvraj saved the innings from total collapse and India from complete embarrassment.

However, Yuvraj failed to reproduce his form Monday and was out, top edging a forceful pull shot. Gul easily took the catch off his own bowling.

After that partnership, there was not much fight seemed to have left in the Indian camp, though young Rohit came up with another gutsy knock.

Prashant murder case: YSR takes it easy

After the resignation of K Kesava Rao from the post of Pradesh Congress Committee president in the wake of allegations against his son Venkat Rao's involvement in the killing of realtor Prashant Reddy, Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy appears to have taken it easy on the investigation.

Initially, the investigating officers tried their best to protect Venkat, since Kesava Rao had sought the Chief Minister's help to hush up the case. The officers gave several twists to the story to prove that Prashant Reddy had committed suicide due to family problems and Venkat had no role in it. Even the forensic science laboratory report was also allegedly manipulated to save the skin of Venkat.

But, subsequently, the Chief Minister stopped taking interest in the case, after realizing that the media is virtually hounding the investigators and there is every possibility that they would unearth some vital clues. So, he asked the CID authorities to go ahead with their own way of probing. Taking the hint, the CID sleuths leaked the confessional report of Venkat. They, however, left the loose ends in the case, so that even if it comes to the court, the case might not stand. And whether Venkat will emerge innocent or guilty will depend on the political compulsions of Rajasekhara Reddy!!

Parties use Ganesh festival for votes!

With the elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation round the corner, the political parties in Hyderabad are leaving no stone unturned to attract the voters.

All most all the parties, Telugu Desam, Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party and Telangana Rasthra Samithi are vying with one another in erecting Ganesh pandals and organizing programmes for the devotees. They are spending huge amounts to attract the voters in the name of Ganesh festival. While it was quite normal for the organizers of Ganesh festivals to collect huge amounts as "donations" for the festival celebrations, this time, the parties themselves are making donations in huge, instead of troubling people and merchants for "chanda."

A surprising entrant this time in the Ganesh festivities is Lok Satta. The party, which claims to be dead against collection of donations from people towards party funds and spending of money to lure voters, is also in the forefront in organizing Ganesh festivals on a large scale and is distributing pamphlets among the devotees explaining its ideology. On the Ganesh Nimajjanam day, Lok Satta erected big platforms everywhere and is distributing food and water to the devotees. So, it is election time for the parties and they all seek Lord Ganesha's blessings for their victory in the GHMC elections!!

Fact Sheet: KCR building castles in air!

Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrasekhar Rao has once again started building castles in air. After fooling the people of Telangana all these years by fixing one deadline after the other for the separate Statehood, the TRS president is now saying there are going to be mid-term elections to Lok Sabha and his party is going to play a crucial role at the Centre after the elections.

One wonders whether KCR has any supernatural powers, as he is telling people what transpired between AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy. He says he has a confidential information that Sonia Gandhi told YSR about the possibilities of going in for mid-term elections. And KCR predicts there is going to be a hung Parliament again and the TRS, which would get all the 15 seats in Telangana, would be play a crucial role in deciding the fate of the UPA government. And the UPA will be compelled to give Telangana at that time.

Even before the 2004 elections, KCR said the same thing. But unfortunately, the UPA dumped him and his party in the dustbin and continued to defer the process on the Telangana State. How can the people believe KCR again and again?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Munnabhai inspires Chandrababu Naidu?

This sounds strange but it is true. The famous "Gandhigiri" of Lage Raho Munnabhai as displayed by Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt is now a part of the daily activity in the Telugu Desam circles. The TD supremo and former chief minister, Mr N Chandrababu Naidu, has set up a huge wall poster at the entrance to the party State headquarters NTR Bhavan. The poster depicts Mahatma Gandhi sitting in front of a charkha while Chandrababu Naidu obediently sits before the father of the nation. The TD leadership wants to send the message that Chandrababu Naidu is committed to Gandhian values and principles.

The TD supremo was in the gaddi of the chief minister for nine long years but never he bothered to spread the Gandhian message. Now that he is in the Opposition, he has set up a big poster with the photograph of Mahatma Gandhi along with that of his own. Inside sources point out that Chandrababu Naidu has been inspired by Munnabhai. Is it a clever ploy to water down film actor Chiranjeevi who is said to be planning to form a political party. Incidentally, Chiranjeevi had acted in the Telugu remake of Sanjay Dutt's film, "Shankar Dada Zindabad". Before someone else could patent Gandhigiri, the TD leadership had rushed through to claim it as its own.

What's going to be Babu's first signature in May 2009?

Former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu has already got into the election mood. Not only that he is firm that his party will come to power in May 2009 Assembly elections. This he made open before a group of toddy tappers in Hyderabad on Saturday.

Chandrababu Naidu announced that after coming to power in May 2009 elections, the first file he would sign on would be related to exemption of toddy from the purview of Excise department. He came out with the statement as if his Telugu Desam was going to win the elections.

On one hand Chandrababu Naidu is fighting against illegal liquor shops and on the other he wants toddy to be sold on a massive scale without any hindrance. Exemption of toddy from Excise means open licence to tappers to sell toddy and this will lead to adulterated toddy. There will be no check on unscrupulous elements.

YSR loses glamour, develops allergy

The three-and-a half years in power seems to have taken glamour out of Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, political observers feel.

Before coming to power, the Chief Minister was looking quite young, dynamic and of course, handsome. His hairstyle, facial expressions and walking style were quite attractive. But after becoming the Chief Minister, the pressure of running the government has certainly brought a major change in his appearance. He has a hair loss heavily and face has lost its charm. His voice has also become a little dull and his walking style has slowed down.

According to sources close to him, YSR has developed some sort of allergy to caps and headgears. Earlier, wherever he visited to address public meetings, he used to be festooned with different types of ornamental headgears by his party workers and admirers. But of late, he has been politely turning down such offers. It surprised many at a public meeting at Kavali in Nellore district on Friday, when YSR did not accept the headgears, irrespective of whether they were made of silk cloth or flowers. Instead, he took the headgears and placed on the head of those who offered him.

This happened even to former Chief Minister N T Rama Rao, too. Within one year of assuming power in 1983, NTR had lost all his filmy charm and looked old and wrinkled. On the other hand, former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, who was feeling sick and almost on the verge of retirement from politics, became active and healthy after assuming charge as PM!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

TSR Frightened Children and Infants With Shouts!

T Subba Rami Reddy is known for his spiritual bent and Shiva bhakthi. He has shown that in the presence of ANR shouting 'Sivoham' for three times very loudly and chanting the benedictory manthrams for ANR on the occasion of his birthday. TSR utters 'om' for such a long time which speaks volumes about his daily practice with praanaayama.

While TSR was shouting 'Sivoham' in mike with such loud voice, the kids sitting in the hall were turned afraid and hugged their parents. Infants cried for a moment for this sudden change. Although it's a chant to call the divine, the children didn't understand what he was doing. Elders and youngsters sat in utter silence when he was shouting 'Sivoham'.

After this, TSR said, "ANR and I are good friends. But in one aspect we differ. I believe in Lord Shiva but he believes only in humanity. As 'Eeshawara' is there in his name 'Nageshwara', I feel Lord Shiva is within him".

That way TSR has given dramatized speech in Ravindra Bharathi last evening.

Buzz: Lokesh getting lessons in politics?

Former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu does not want someone from outside to lead the Telugu Desam after he retires from active politics. Though Chandrababu Naidu has at least 20 years of active political life left, he wants to groom his son Lokesh right from now, so that Lokesh gets well-versed in political strategies and planning by the time he (Babu) retires from politics.

The recent exposure of Lokesh to some of the meetings attended and addressed by Chandrababu Naidu in the US is just the beginning. According to TD sources, Lokesh is showing much interest in politics, but Chandrababu Naidu has asked him to stay away for the time being. The idea is to train Lokesh as a successful business magnate become formally launching him into the politics. However, Lokesh has been taking a lesson or two from Chandrababu Naidu from time to time. It's just a matter of time before Lokesh takes a plunge into politics. Chandrababu Naidu has time and again made it clear that the career decision is left to Lokesh. It means indirectly that Lokesh may join politics, if he wishes to. And Lokesh is said to be interested in politics.

ACB becomes active, thanks to Samal dhamal

The Anti-Corruption Bureau, which had been in deep slumber all these days, has suddenly woken up and started conducting raids at will on the government officials in high places, thanks to the "dhamaka" created by former Vigilance Commissioner R C Samal.

In the last one week, the ACB sleuths conducted surprise raids on several officials and caught them redhanded. Perhaps, they might have that that the government would turn its ire on the ACB for turning a Nelson's eye on the corrupt officials that prompted Samal to expose several bureaucrats. So, they stepped up their activity all of a sudden and trapped the corrupt officials, so that the government would give an impression that it is not shielding the corrupt.

This sudden action of the ACB has also created a scare among the middlemen. For instance, the brokers at the RTA department, who collect huge amounts from the people for obtaining driving licences and vehicle registrations, disappeared from the scene the moment the ACB started its operations. The Samal effect might have created an embarrassment to the YSR government, but it has also provided the much-needed relief to the consumers!

Babu once again longs for Third Front

Though former Tamil Nadu chief minister and AIADMK leader J Jayalalitaa has been making contradictory statements against the so-called Third Front, Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu is pressing for the alternative to the BJP and the Congress at the national level. Strangely enough, Chandrababu Naidu wants a Third Front at the Centre but does not want it at the State level. While the TD will be a part of the Third Front at the national level, the Third Front will the part of the TD in Andhra Pradesh. This is Chandrababu Naidu's strategy.

Already out of power for three years, Chandrababu Naidu has become quite restless and is itching for power. The recent events in the TD and his statements on developments in the State clearly show that Chandrababu Naidu cannot sustain himself without the backing of power. He wants to come to power by hook or by crook, those close to him admit in private.

Jayalalitaa has differed with the third front moves through her recent actions, decisions and statements. Yet Chandrababu Naidu is rushing to Delhi on September 25 to hold discussions with like-minded parties. Chandrababu Naidu has lost his key role in national politics and he wants to come on the centrestage throught the Third Front moves. This explains the longing of Chandrababu Naidu for the Third Front at the national level and a strong TD at the AP level.

Ganguly: India favourite in Twenty20 semi-final

Kolkata (IANS): Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly Friday said the men in blue will have an advantage over Australia in the semi-final of the Twenty20 World championships, as they have won all their matches in Durban.

Praising the captaincy of M.S. Dhoni, Ganguly after a strenuous practice session said: "Australia and India are both quality teams. But India has an advantage as they have won all three matches in Durban. Though it was a bowl out against Pakistan, but a win is a win. They have the advantage."

"I think toss will be crucial. At Durban anybody should bat after winning toss, especially if it is day-night match."

Asked to comment on India's performance, he said, "Obviously, India is playing well. England and South Africa are two good teams and additionally both were pressure games. Dhoni and the team have done really well."

"But a semi-final is a different game. It is a small game in which three-four overs can make a big difference. Australia without their regular captain (Ricky) Ponting will be weak in batting and India is playing good," he added.

Commenting on Dhoni as skipper, he said, "He is a cool customer. He looked outstanding. He was relaxed in the three-four matches he led the team. He made all the right decisions under pressure, which is important."

Sourav was all praise for Yuvraj Singh, who he thought played good cricketing shots en route his six sixes against England.

"He was brilliant. Six sixes in six balls is unbelievable," he said.

About his not playing in the Twenty20 championships, he said, "This was a personal decision. I am not missing it in that way. Besides, this is almost the same Indian team. Only we three are left out."

Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly had opted out of the Twenty20 World Cup on personal grounds.

Asked about his future position in the team, Ganguly said, "It will be Dhoni's plan. He is captain. My objective will be playing good cricket and helping the youngsters and standing by the skipper."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Samal sending secret reports to TD?

Even after Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy appointing a high level committee to look into the allegations made by former Vigilance Commissioner R C Samal, a lot of heat and dust is still being raised by the Opposition parties, particularly, the Telugu Desam.

Samal issue has come in handy for party president N Chandrababu Naidu, who is running short of ideas to run down the Congress government. His Palle Palleku programme hardly had any response from the people. So, it wants to make a ruckus using Samal's so-called sensational report. Day and in day out, the TD leaders issuing statements on Samal episode, as if there is no other issue of public concern. They even went to the extent of submitting a memorandum to Governor N D Tiwari demanding a special Assembly session to discuss the Samal report.

According to TD sources, Samal has been in close touch with Chandrababu Naidu for quite some time. He reportedly forwarded several secret and classified documents pertaining to the corruption allegations against many bureaucrats and political leaders to the Telugu Desam. In return, the TD reportedly promised him with a plum post, if it comes to power. The TD wants to sling mud at Rajasekhara Reddy government during the Assembly session using these reports, sources said.

BJP desperate to make Ramasethu a poll issue

Bharathiya Janata Party is very much disappointed with the Centre for withdrawing its affidavit in the Supreme Court (which declared Lord Rama as a myth) and taking corrective measures within the UPA to ensure that the matter doesn't precipitate.

For, the BJP was of a fond hope that the Sethusamudram project would go ahead as usual and there would be ample fodder for the party leaders to be in the limelight. BJP senior leader and Rajya Sabha member, M Venkaiah Naidu reportedly told a few close media friends in Nellore the other day that it would have been advantageous BJP, had the project been continued as it was. There would have been every possibility that Ram would become an election plank for the BJP.

But with the UPA government retreating its step, the BJP has become desperate. It is still trying to make it a big political issue. Venkaiah Naidu is of the view that the issue would subside only if the Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apologised to the people of the

country for the imbroglio related to Ramasethu. He hopes that the issue would snowball into a bigger controversy, now that DMK chief M Karunanidhi's controversial remarks on the existence of Ram and Ramasethu.

So, BJP desperately to get back its life before the next elections. Will that happen?

Fact Sheet: TD leaders play all gimmict: TD leaders play all gimmicks to woo youthks to woo youth

With a fond hope that the mid-term elections to the Lok Sabha as well as the State Assembly would be held some time early next year, Telugu Desam leaders are gearing up themselves in their own way and wooing the electorate, especially the youth, in their favour.

TD president N Chandrababu Naidu himself has set this trend by offering cash incentives to students and paying ex gratia to the victims of bomb blasts, flyover collapse, highway accidents and even the flood affected.

The TD leaders in the districts, who are keen on entering the Assembly and Parliament in the next elections, are following the suit. Take for instance, former MP from Anakapalle and present Telgu Desam MLA from Chodavaram Ganta Srinivasa Rao. He has started spending his personal money by distributing "unemployment fund" among the educated unemployed youth and students and is also paying to the Dwcra members and poor farmers of his constituency. He is spending about Rs 2 lakh-Rs 3 lakh per month on these donations. He says the unemployed youth can make use of this money for applying for jobs, traveling and other expenses. Similarly, the students are being paid scholarships and medals for their excellent performances. Of course, a request at the end of each such donation or scholarship: "please vote for me in the next elections"!!

Twenty20: India beat England by 18 runs

Stuart Broad was hit for six sixes in an over as England's World Twenty20 bid ended with an 18-run defeat by India.

The young seamer was savaged in the 19th over by Yuvraj Singh, who made 58 off 16 balls, as India amassed 218-4.

South Africa's win over New Zealand had already eliminated England and, despite some brave hitting, they were always struggling to keep up with the rate.

The top five all got starts, with Vikram Solanki making 43 and Kevin Pietersen 39, as they ended on 200-6.

But this game will be remembered solely for the dramatic events in the final over of Broad's spell - which leaked 60 runs in four overs - as Yuvraj made the fastest fifty in international history, off 12 balls.

The ball disappeared with tremendous velocity over wide long-on, backward square-leg, extra-cover, backward point and mid-wicket while Broad and skipper Paul Collingwood played the role of startled rabbits.

It ultimately proved the difference between the teams - and yet there was no hint of the carnage to come when the openers cautiously went about garnering 23 in the first four overs.

They stepped on the gas to make more than double that in the next 24 balls as Gautam Gambhir pulled Andrew Flintoff and Virender Sehwag flogged Dimitri Mascarenhas over extra-cover for sixes.

England should have had a breakthrough when Sehwag sliced Collingwood to fine third man on 39, where Mascarenhas over-ran to miss the chance.

The right-hander profited by hammering over backward point for six and thrashing through the covers to reach 50 off 38 balls, while Gambhir got to his fifty off two fewer deliveries by punishing a Chris Tremlett full-toss.

Tremlett, who had come in for some severe punishment in his first appearance had two moments of joy when he knocked back Sehwag's leg-stump and cleaned up Robin Uthappa.

However, any suggestions that the innings might fizzle out were truly shattered by Yuvraj, who left England needing to hit the leather off just about everything from the start.

There was some humour at the end when England began the final over needing 36, and Luke Wright helped them get half of those before being brilliantly caught on the boundary by Harbhajan.

But, ultimately, they had no-one with Yuvraj's midas touch.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fact Sheet: Yashki's struggle for existence!

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Congress MP from Nizamabad Madhu Yashki Goud is virtually struggling to retain his existence in the State politics, as he is fully aware that his days in the Congress are numbered and that he would not get the Congress ticket in the next 2009 general elections.

So, he is trying to build up his own image in Nizamabad district, that might come to his help in seeking the Telangana Rashtra Samithi ticket in the next elections. He is spending most of his time in the district, mobilizing the people, and particularly the student community, in support of Telangana. He is calling upon the teachers and students to participate actively in Telangana separate statehood movement.

Madhu, however, is cautious enough not to distance himself from the Congress for the time being, but to be still loyal to Madam Sonia Gandhi. While lambasting the anti-Telangana forces in the Congress, he is making it a point to display his loyalty to Sonia, saying the Congress president was fully aware of the aspirations of the Telanganites, notwithstanding the negative campaign unleashed by anti-Telangana forces. "I am confident that the pParty would definitely take a positive decision, if the State Congress leaders explain public opinion before high command," he said.

Attempting To Understand Religions and Gods!

Religion is a set of instructions set by some matured souls in body form to move forward to merge in the ocean of Spirituality. Religion is a training platform that moulds the soul to turn capable to merge into the ocean of Spirituality . Religion is a torch that shows path to the ocean of Spirituality. Religion is a lubricant for the soul to get rid of the friction of confusion, doubtfulness, uproar and other similar factors those hamper the smooth journey of the soul towards the ocean of Spirituality.

Religions took their shape in different places by different people under different circumstances.

Since the energy, the soul and the spirituality cannot be visualized by the physical bodies, an imagination was incorporated which was in tune with the physical bodies in assuming the energies in the form of gods and goddesses just only for the matter of concentration and self conviction. One has to realize, while worship, that it is the energy that has to be concentrated but not merely the assumed shape of the energy. The concentration should go beyond the assumed human shapes of energy.

There was a time when the lands we see now stayed united. There was a time when the land was not broken and flown away. There was a time when the waters have not broken the land. That was the time when the groups of humans lived together like we live now in specific nations, states and islands. They had a religion as if we have now. They had the masters to put the humans in religious control as if we have now. Those masters with a noble notion of driving the fellow humans towards the spirituality have formulated and incorporated many ideas in the brains of the people. Noble thoughts can come only when there is peace, good acts can be performed only when there is peace, the journey towards spirituality is possible only when there is peace. And this peace can be possible with love, brotherhood, non-violence and doing the acts through which guilt and disease cannot arise and so on. To bring all these aspects in an easy possible way, the concept of adoration is formulated. Love, brotherhood, peace and other similar aspects are the subsets of adoration. Masters asked their fellow humans to adore everyone, every thing and every element. Many of the fellow humans turned resistant to understand and follow the concept.

Masters understood that the point 'adoration' is abstract and hence it is not understandable for many humans. Consequently, they decided to make it concrete by mixing the abstractism in concrete things. First they started with five elements which are unconquerable by human beings. They said, "Sun is god. He is invincible. He is all energetic. He is the light who is giving lives. He is the light who is guarding lives. He is the light who gets angry when the peace is disturbed on land. He is the light who punishes the humans who cause disturbance to peace, who does violent acts, who pains the fellow humans. He punishes with his hot and dangerous rays."

Listening to this the humans understood that there is someone beyond them who is divine. They started adoring the Sun. They understood the feel of adoration. They felt the fear of being controlled. Masters were happy. Their noble mission took an initial step towards the vision of bending the humans towards spirituality. Eventually, the masters continued to divinize other elements in nature, the water, the fire, the sky and the land. By then, the humans were capable of adoring all elements of nature. But still the violence on fellow humans and animals didn't halt. Masters pondered once again. They understood that the fellow humans are adoring the elements of nature and developing many abstract feelings which are useful for the journey towards spirituality. That was because they could able to see god in those elements. Even then that fear of being controlled by the elements of nature had not become sufficient for humans to keep their fellow humans and animals in peace. That was because they weren't able to see god in them as they were seeing in the elements of nature.

Masters decided to divinize humans and animals. They pondered once again. They have formulated some tales and divinized some characters in them. They divinized many animals by associating them to the divinized characters in the tales. They said in their tales that some animals are the friends, some are vehicles and some are loved ones of some divinized characters who were called gods and goddesses.

To incorporate the receptive nature in fellow humans, masters even divinized knowledge and wisdom in human form. Thus they divinized many aspects; one comes across in his life. They decided to show good and bad in concrete form. They gave form to some tales by showing the good and evil in the characters of the tales. Some happened events in their past, some imagination, some fantasy and some exaggeration conglomerated together and formed as epic tales. There were some master souls and super souls who took birth in human form to make the humans understand the values those drive them towards spirituality. They were the epic heroes or legendary personalities in epics.

As time has flown, the lands are divided with waters and emerged as different continents. Evidently, even the people separated and restricted to respective lands in the time of many successive generations. But the religion they carried from their ancestors was still carried further, but with many amendments and many changes. Even then the major thread of the religion, the tale or the characters shows many similarities when observed carefully. The so called Hindu Religion and Greek Religion which are considered to be the oldest religions, derived from that religion which prevailed in ancient times when the land was united. Greeks' Apollo, the Sun god is Hindus' Surya. Similarly, Romans' Minerva, the goddess of wisdom is Hindus' Saraswathi and so on.

In due course of time as we know the Islam and Christianity took their shape under certain situations. By the time these religions took their birth, the violence on fellow humans was considered to be the central point of disturbing peace and hence the major focus of these two religions was kept on the love and peace on fellow humans.

When one thinks of Jesus Christ the energy that strikes him is the Love. Loving all the people as one loves oneself. When love is all-pervaded the scope for uproar, confusion, doubtfulness and other similar factors almost wane off. Thus the journey towards the ultimate destiny becomes smooth.

When one thinks of Allah the energy that strikes him is the peace. ' Salaam alaikum- Let peace be upon you' is the daily wish of every Muslim. When there is peace the journey of the soul towards the ultimate destiny becomes smooth.

When one thinks of Hindu philosophy the energy that strikes is the Bhakthi, the adoration. When one adores the other and the other adores another there will be no scope for uproar, confusion and doubtfulness and thus the journey towards the ultimate destiny becomes smooth. Many right aspects we come across in life are personified and worshipped in this religion. The personification of all the beings, elements and knowledge is for the matter of identification and concentration. As someone said earlier, if ants have the same cognizance as that of man, they assume the ultimate energy as a magnificent ant. Since we are humans we are assuming the energies in human forms.

Thus the underlined concepts of all the religions are interlinked and carrying the souls to the same destiny, the Spirituality.

Photo Feature: Sania Mirza with Sachin Tendulkar!

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Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar and tennis sensation Sania Mirza greet each other at a press conference in Kolkata, on Tuesday, September 18, 2007.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dhoni to lead in ODIs; Pathan, Harbhajan recalled

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni Tuesday replaced Rahul Dravid as captain for the One-day International home series against Australia and Pakistan, while Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh come back to the side.

Dhoni, 26, is currently leading India at the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa. Dravid, who had opted out of the Twenty20, had made himself unavailable for the captaincy to concentrate on his batting after the recent tour of England.

Announcing a 15-member team for the first three ODIs against Australia at a press conference, cricket board secretary Niranjan Shah said here that Yuvraj Singh, who is senior to Dhoni, would be the vice-captain.

"We thought he was the best man for the job. He is a good (Twenty20) captain and it is the right time to groom him," said Dilip Vengsarkar, chairman of the selection committee.

Referring to speculation that Sachin Tendulkar had declined to lead the ODI team, he said that no one was offered the captaincy before Dhoni was finally picked.

Rohit Sharma, Ajit Agarkar and Munaf Patel, who were part of the team that recently toured England, were dropped for the first three matches.

The three ODIs will be played at Bangalore (Sep 29) Kochi (Oct 2) and Hyderabad (Oct 5).

The team for the remaining four one-dayers will be announced later.

A hard-hitting batsman who can change his game according to the situation, the Ranchi-based Dhoni has played 84 ODIs since making his debut against Bangladesh at Dhaka in 2004 and scored 2,477 runs at 44.23. In 20 Tests, he has scored 1,019 runs at 36.39.

Board president Sharad Pawar, who approved the team, endorsed the choice of Dhoni and the team as a whole.

"Anything that takes the team forward should be welcomed. We also have to see that the young generation is given opportunity and if the captain is also young that's good," he said.

The seven-match One-day International series against Australia will be played from Sep 29 to Oct 17.

The Pakistani team will visit India for five ODIs and three Test matches to be played between Nov 6 and Dec 12.

The captain for the Test series will be named later, said Vengsarkar.

On the recall of left-arm pacer Pathan and off-spinner Harbhajan, both of whom are playing Twenty20 World Championship, he said they have done well to merit a recall.

On Virender Sehwag, who is also playing in South Africa but was again ignored for the ODIs, Vengsarkar said that since the team was only for three matches, "he will get his opportunity" later in the series.

Team: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain/wicket keeper), Yuvraj Singh (vice captain), Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Sreesanth, Piyush Chawla, Ramesh Powar, Zaheer Khan and Rudra Pratap Singh.

Australia in India
Tue, Sep 25Australia team arrival
Sat, Sep 29First ODIBangalore
Tue, Oct 2Second ODIKochi
Fri, Oct 5Third ODIHyderabad
Mon, Oct 8Fourth ODIGuwahati
Thu, Oct 11Fifth ODIBaroda
Sun, Oct 14Sixth ODINagpur
Wed, Oct 17Seventh ODIMumbai

Pakistan in India
Fri, Nov 2Pakistan team arrival
Tue, Nov 6First ODIFaridabad
Fri, Nov 9Second ODIMohali
Mon, Nov 12Third ODIKanpur
Thu, Nov 15Fourth ODIGwalior
Sun, Nov 18Fifth ODIJaipur
Thu, Nov 22 - Mon, Nov 26First TestDelhi
Fri, Nov 30 to Tue, Dec 4Second TestKolkata
Sat, Dec 8 - Wed, Dec 12Third TestBangalore

Gaddar exposes himself before Vijayashanti

Revolutionary singer Gaddar, who has a lot of reputation as the champion of the downtrodden, has exposed his intentions to come into politics by joining hands with a political turncoat like A Narendra and a fraud like Vijayashanti.

Gaddar bared his chest and danced along with Vijayashanti on the dais at Osmania University and promised to be a part of the Telangana United Front and lead the Telangana movement. According to sources, the entire show at Osmania University was sponsored by the Congress leaders themselves with behind the screen support from Chief Minister's advisor K V P Ramachandra Rao. And it is an open secret that Narendra, Vijayashanti and Jayaprakash Reddy have the blessings of Y S Rajasekhar Reddy.

So, one wonders what credibility Narendra and Vijayashanti has in the Telangana front. Narendra is able to avoid inquiry by the CBI into the fake passport scandal only because of the support of Pranab Mukherjee through YSR. And Vijayashanti only makes guest appearances once in a while, on the occasions like Bonalu festival and Telangana liberation day. What would Gaddar get by joining hands with them is anybody's guess. Only thing is that Gaddar himself will lose his credibility.

Of KCR and his communal politics

Many people in Telangana believe that Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrasekhar Rao has an unflinching commitment for Telangana State formation. But many others do not know that gaining immediate political gains is more important to him than achieving separate Statehood for Telangana.

If one were to read between the lines his unusual silent on Telangana Liberation Day on September 17, one can realize that his prime objective was not to recall the glory of erstwhile independent Hyderabad State, but to gain immediate benefit for the TRS in the forthcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Elections. Hyderabadi Muslims still feel that the end of Nizam rule would mean loss of independence for Muslims and therefore, they do not appreciate the political parties celebrating this Hyderabad liberation day.

And KCR, who is eyeing on GHMC hot seat, does not want to antagonize the Muslims. Therefore, by staying away from Hyderabad Liberation Day celebrations, he wants to woo the Muslim community. He argues that what matters now is not celebrating the past incident, but re-liberating the Telangana from the clutches of Andhra rulers. And he wants the Muslims to take part in regaining their past glory by liberating Telangana. That's KCR and his communal politics!

Idol Manufacturers and Haleem Makers Are Weeping

The Ganesh Chaturdhi has left a lull this time at the idol vendors. Vendors are saying that the sale of idols is very less this ear when compared to previous years.

"Every year we notice 20 percent of growth rate in the sales of Ganesh idols. But this time the sale is tremendously less. We have thousands of idols at us those weren't sold out. The main reason for all this is the recent bomb blast incident in Hyderabad. People haven't shown much interest in many years to celebrate the festival in bigger way. Majority people also took away only smaller size idols this time. Police is also keen in giving permissions for public mandapams and that is another reason for the fewer sales of idols", said an idol maker with dull voice.

Same is being told by a Haleem maker near Charminar. "We are not seeing crowds in big way as we saw in previous years. People are afraid of bomb blasts. We used to enjoy a great customer count with the interest shown by our Hindu brothers towards Haleem. But this time, even Muslims are found in less number when compared to previous years. The macca masjid blasts and lumbini blasts are still frightening many", he said.

Tania Sachdev won the Asian Women's Chess Championship

Tania Sachdev won the Asian Women's Chess Championship on Tuesday i.e. on 11/9/07, at Tehran by beating Chinese Ju Wenjun. She is also a Grandmaster-norm holder. She joined Women Grandmaster (WGM) Club in 2005.

Isn't she cute?

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Spotlight: IITs Started New Political Party

This is the revolution that started from IIT students. They have started a new political party from UP. See what they say:

"Bharat Punarnirman Dal is a political party, founded by a group of IITians and other such individuals and professionals, with the objective of making "Bharathvarsha a prosperous and powerful nation and re-establish it as the world-leader, a position, which the nation rightfully deserves".

The formation of this political organization is the culmination of the efforts taken by a group of individuals from different parts of the country and from different walks of life towards realizing a long nurtured vision of making Bharat a prosperous and powerful Nation.

After years of study and hands-on experience at the grassroots level it became clear to the group that without reforming the political system any attempt to reform the society or the governance will be futile. Soon it became clear that the problem is not the lack of resources but it is inefficient management of the resources. In other words in order to get a lasting and widespread solution instead of trying to solve the problems and issues themselves it is better to improve the problem solving mechanism. This problem solving mechanism or the System that governs the country is already there and has sufficient reach and resources but because of inefficiencies at every level of this system it has become ineffective.

Bharat Punarnirman Dal was founded with a belief that qualitative improvement at the topmost level will be reflected throughout the structure that lies beneath them. Thus this political organization is an attempt to fundamentally reform the political system, which produces the top level managers – the politicians, by introducing quality and dynamism at the political level so as the country is run by politicians by choice not by chance or by birth".

Buzz: No more vigilance commissioners?

A major fallout of the sensational Samal report is that there will be more delay in the appointment of his successor. The powers that be have realised post the Samal revelations that the occupant of the position has the potential to embarrass any official or minister anytime. The grapevine has it that the chief minister has directed that the process of appointing the next vigilance commissioner be put on hold. As per rules, the post cannot be given as additional charge to anyone and that it will remain vacant until a full time incumbent is appointed by the governor. How long that wait could be is anybody’s guess.

Behind The Scene: Naidu instigated Samal?

Former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu could be the brain behind former Vigilance Commissioner R C Samal's sensational allegations against the corrupt bureaucrats, police officials and politicians.

This was the suspicion expressed by none other than Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy. After remaining tightlipped over Samal's allegations for more than two days, YSR appeared before the media and refuted the allegations. He suspected that Naidu must have instigated Samal to make such wild allegations against the Chief Minister's Office and certain ministers only to defame the government. "Earlier, Naidu provoked Christian Evangelist K A Paul to make all sorts of baseless against me and my government. Now, he must have used Samal to fire at us again," he expressed doubt.

There is every truth in YSR's observations, since Naidu is capable of doing such gimmicks. That Samal tried to defame the YSR government by saying that it had withdrawn all the cases against several IAS officers, who were found guilty by the previous TD regime, itself shows that Samal had an understanding with Naidu. Samal needs an explanation for this.

Fact Sheet: Naidu's double talk on corruption

Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu, who is crying from roof tops about the high-level corruption in Y S Rajasekhar Reddy government, did not take any action against the corrupt officials pointed out by the Vigilance Commission and ACB during his nine-year Telugu Desam regime.

The Chief Minister pointed out that the previous Telugu Desam government had taken action against only four All India Service Officers in nine years, while the Congress government took action against 13 officers in three years including three officers who have been compulsorily retired. "No raids were conducted against them during TD rule where as we have raided homes and offices of 5 AIS offices including Vizag rural SP and IPS official Murali for the first time," he said.

He alleged that the Chief Minister's Office during the Telugu Desam regime had suppressed ACB reports. The Naidu government had blackmailed officers and extracted work from them. On the other hand, the present Congress government is taking action against 128 officers, including IAS, IPS and IFS officers, out of 800-900 All India Service Officers, against whom the Vigilance Commission had recommended action.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fact Sheet: Babu spreading panic among people!

Former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu used to repeat quite often, when he was in power, that tourism is the best "ism" and there's no "ism" but tourism in this modern day world. Now that he is in the Opposition, Chandrababu Naidu is spreading panic among people that Hyderabad has become unsafe for tourists. He went on record saying that the governments of the USA and Australia had issued travel advisories warning their citizens to be cautious during their visit to Andhra Pradesh in view of bomb blasts. The TD supremo also said that since people from other States too had died in the blast and the collapse of the flyover bridge at Panjagutta, State governments in India will also issue similar travel advisories.

Chandrababu Naidu is attempting to derive political mileage saying that the law and order situation is very bad in the Congress ruled State. He claimed that he had brought international repute to Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh through developments.

What Chandrababu Naidu has forgotten is that his statements are bringing a bad name to Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh. In case the Telugu Desam returns to power in the State, Chandrababu Naidu then will have a Herculean task before him to convince people that everything is ok with Hyderabad. Then people will not believe him. For the sake of petty politics and political ego, Chandrababu Naidu wants to depict Hyderabad as a bad city.

Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Chandrababu Naidu

Former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu is adept at carving out an image for himself. In his recent interaction with mediapersons at NTR Bhavan, Chandrababu Naidu claimed that then US president Bill Clinton chose to visit Hyderabad after reading about the "vision" of Chandrababu Naidu and the "progress" of the State during the TD rule. He said Clinton read about Hyderabad, Telugu Desam and Andhra Pradesh in Wall Street Journal and Time and hence decided to see the "development" himself.

Chandrababu Naidu did not stop at this. He went on to say that then British prime minister Tony Blair during his visit to Hyderabad told him that he had heard about Hyderabad through Bill Clinton.

If one were to believe what Babu says, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair had nothing else to do except discussing about Hyderabad. For these two big and powerful imperialist nations, a big country like India has no place in their agenda. When India does not matter to them, does Hyderabad matter?

But Chandrababu Naidu wants us all to believe.

Tsunami alert in AP after quake hits Indonesia

The State government has sounded a high alert of a possible Tsunami in the coastal belt after a severe earthquake hit Indonesia.

Severe earthquake hit Indonesia and there are reports that Tsunami also may ensure. There are also reports that Tsunami may hit Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy who has just returned from a tour of Khammam, immediately spoke to the Chief Secretary and Commissioner, Disaster Management.

Since Coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh were also put on high alert on the threat of Tsunami, he asked them to take necessary advance measures. Following this the District Collectors of the Coastal district have been alerted on the Tsunami and asked them to instruct the fishermen not to venture into the sea.

The Collectors were told to ask the fishermen who have ventured into the sea to return immediately. The Collectors have been put on high alert to be ready to evacuate people from the low lying areas. The Chief Minister asked the Chief Secretary, Commissioner, Disaster Management, Collectors and other officials to constantly monitor the situation and be ready for relief measures as and when necessary.

City Talk: 755 Sq.Yard plot for Rs 6 Cr in Nandagiri

HYDERABAD: The coveted 755.87 square yard plot atop Nandagiri Hills in Jubilee Hills went under the hammer for Rs 6.04 crore at an auction held by Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (Huda) here on Wednesday. Just three bidders participated in the open auction to own the prized plot from where one can get a panoramic view of the city. Though Huda fixed Rs 45,000 per square yard as the upset price, the land went for nearly Rs 80,000 per sq yard, raking in Rs 6.04 crore to the urban authority.

The bidding process started with Rs 66,000 and concluded at Rs 80,000 per sq. yard. There was fierce competition among the three bidders to own the north-facing plot, but Suchirindia Developers chief executive officer Y Kiron Kumar finally quoted the winning bid with Rs 80,000 per sq yard. "It was my dream to construct a good house on the hilltop. I wanted to own this plot irrespective of the price. My dream has come true,'' Y Kiron Kumar told media. At the auction, Jubilee Hills Cooperative House Building Society secretary T Devender Reddy bought a 920.92 sq yard plot at Huda Techno Enclave, Madhapur. He plans to exploit it for commercial purpose. Two bidders participated in the open auction. Huda fixed Rs 1 crore as EMD and Rs 45,000 per sq yard as upset price. Devender Reddy quoted Rs 73,000 per square yard and won the bid.

M/s Aditya Housing Infrastructure Limited, Hyderabad, bought plots under 'Individual', 'Group Housing' and 'Commercial' categories. Under 'Individual' categories, they bought plot nos 133 to 139 and in group housing from I to VII and one plot (C1) under commercial group at Tellapur. On the first day of the auction, Huda auctioned plots at Nandagiri Hills, Huda Heights Phase-II, Huda Techno Enclave, Asif Nagar (New), Ramachandrapuram Ringtown and Tellapur. Thirty-nine plots were bought by bidders and as a result Huda to earn Rs 100.54 crore. The auction would continue till September 17 at Huda's head office Paigah Palace.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Prashant murder case gets a new twist

The episode of realtor Prashant Reddy's death at the residence of K Venkateshwara Rao alias Venkat, son of PCC president K Kesava Rao, who has since resigned from his post, is turning curious and curiouser, with Venkat telling the police that family problems had compelled Prashant Reddy to commit suicide by shooting himself.

According to Venkat, Prashant Reddy has two wives -- one legal (Vilasini) and other illegal (Preethi), who used to quarrel among themselves frequently. This created a lot of mental tension for Prashant Reddy and this eventually led to his suicide. As if to buttress his argument, Prashant Reddy's second wife Preethi came into the scene from nowhere, exactly two days after the murder took place.

She is believed to have suffered a "chest pain" on listening to Prashant Reddy's death and she was admitted to a private hospital. Nobody is being allowed to meet her, as she is in an unconscious state.

But why this chest pain comes to these people only when some serious incident involving them, remains a mystery. Inquiries revealed that the powers-that-be are trying to hush up the case and mislead the investigation by bringing in Preethi,who must have had an affair with Prashant. Some high profile leaders had hectic deliberations with Preethi and use her as an important instrument in watering down the case. Efforts are also on to enter into an agreement with Vilasini to hush up the case, as had happened in the case of murder attempt on Bellamkonda Suresh by film hero Balakrishna. Ultimately, when there is no evidence, there would be no case. Anything is possible in politics!!

Behind The Scene: KK pays for his loose tongue

Finally, Pradesh Congress Committee president K Keshava Rao had to pay a heavy price for his loose tongue. In a bid to defend his rowdy son Venkat, who allegedly shot dead his friend Prashant Reddy, Kesava Rao tried to influence the investigation by saying it appeared to be a suicide, rather than a murder.

According to Gandhi Bhavan sources, Keshava Rao got a clear message from the Congress high command in Delhi to step down from the PCC presidentship. Within a couple of hours of he visiting Apollo Hospitals to call on his son and giving him a clean chit in the firing incident, Kesava Rao reportedly received a telephone call from K V P Ramachandra Rao, advisor to Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Rao, asking him to put in his papers.

Party sources say that the Congress high command took a serious view of the incident on Sunday itself when the news of the shooting incident at Keshava Rao's son's residence in Jubilee Hills was on TV news channels. The Chief Minister and KVP virtually closed all options for Keshava Rao to find an escape route. When a couple of ministers and a few MLAs and MLCs called on him to discuss the issue, Keshava Rao initially put up a bold face, saying that his 'friends and well-wishers' in Hyderabad and Delhi had all told him that there was no need for him to resign. But with the party high command cracking the whip, he had no choice but to announce his resignation before rushing to Delhi.

Analysis: Who is the Next PCC President?

Now that PCC president K Kesava Rao quit his post with his image crest fallen, all speculations are on who would be his sucessor.

Television channels, as usual, have started churning out as many names as possible to score over their rivals -- from Nandi Yellaiah to Mallu Ravi to V Hanumantha Rao and so on. In fact, even before Kesava Rao submitted his resignation to Madam Sonia Gandhi, AICC incharge of AP Affairs Digvijay Singh has started bargaining with the probable candidates like Nandi Yellaiah, giving them all sorts of assurances.

But the key is in the hands of Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, since he wants a non-controverial person and his loyalist to be in the PCC throne, as he doesn't want any confrontation with anyone during the election year.

The curious question that is doing rounds is whether the incumbent would be from Telangana or not. There has been a grumbling among the Congress leaders from coastal Andhra, as most of the PCC presidents in the recent past were from Telangana -- whether it was D Srinivas, M Satyanarayana Rao or Kesava Rao. They are demanding that this time, the chance should go to the Congress leader from coastal Andhra or Rayalaseema. But as things stand now, there are no serious and worthy candidates from these two regions, who can take all the Congress leaders along with him. But whether the Congress high command will listen to them in the wake of a serious demand for Telangana State formation remains to be seen.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Andhra Talk: Is This A Real Bad Time For Congress?

Is 'bad' getting big and shadowing 'good' if any, done by government? Has Satan entered the Congress party? Is the government getting negative feedback from majority sections of people followed by a few grave incidents? What the political analysts say about the present trend of politics? Is the situation at present going to be venom for Congress to lose its power in coming elections?

When asked a few people at random here are the impressions collected a few hours after the incident of flyover collapse in Punjagutta.

"If you ask now, the people would be anti-government. The flyover collapse is on the top news today. Adding to that the case of KK's son in the alleged murder of Realtor Prashant Reddy is also on the banner. Anti-Government feelings are all pervasive now. But just wait and ask people after a few months when there is silence everywhere. The feelings will be different. So, what I want to say is the feelings that people carry 4 months before elections will matter for the change of government. It is too early to decide now", said Ajay Sharma, a political analyst.

"It's the worst rule of government. The lava of corruption is erupting every where. The thirst for money of politicians is killing hundreds of people", said Jaya Prakash Narayan of Lok Satta.

Taking a different analysis, Radha Krishna, a political science professor says, "Everything was silent before 2004 elections. Chandrababu met with Alipiri incident and the so called sympathy wave would have been on maximum point if statistics were true. But statistics always say lies as per the adage, 'Lies-Damn Lies Statistics'. We have seen the result. Congress swept everything. So, we cannot analyze anything with this corruption, murders, terrorism etc. Everything is serendipity as per my observation".

That sounds a bit philosophical but some students in a college say, "It's a bad mark on government. People are afraid to come out for various reasons-be it terrorism or with the incidents like Punjagutta flyover. When people lose security feeling, then nothing stops government from losing the power. But the vote bank lies with government officials, employees and poor people. If they are satisfied by any means before elections, again the winning may be assured. Any way, it is too early to discuss all this".

Mixed and indecisive feelings are making rounds everywhere today in Hyderabad . Let us see how government reacts to all this and how it counters the questions posed by opposition parties.

Realtor shot dead by KK’s son Venkat?

Prashant Reddy a realtor was shot dead in an incident this evening at Jubilee hills in Hyderabd. PCC Chief K Keshava Rao’s son is said to have shot Prashant Reddy. The bullet pierced through Prashant’s brain. Venkat also got himself admitted in Apollo hospital. He is said to be in an unconscious stage. Police are not saying anything about the incident. The revolver however belongs to Venkat.

Initial repots said that Prashant’s wife had named Venkat as responsible for killing her husband. But she changed her statement a short while later and now says that Prashant might have committed suicide. Land disputes are said to be the reason behind the shootout. Prashant and Venkat are partners but they are reported to have entered into a scuffle after a party this afternoon. Meanwhile K Keshava Rao rushed to Apollo hospital a short while ago.

India drops to 6th, Sachin leaps to 12th in ODI chart

India drops to 6th, Tendulkar leaps to 12th in ICC ODI chart

DUBAI: In the wake of the series defeat in England, Team India dropped behind Pakistan to the sixth slot in the LG ICC ODI Championship table with the mild consolation being Sachin Tendulkar's rise to the 12th spot in the batting chart.

The 3-4 defeat in England cost Rahul Dravid's side two rating points in the LG ICC ODI Championship table and though both India and Pakistan sides have 108 points, the latter takes the fifth spot when the ratings are recalculated to three decimal places.

Personally, Tendulkar, however, has a lot to cheer about as he leapfrogs nine rungs to join South African Jacques Kallis in the 12th spot.

The Mumbaikar was India's top run-scorer in the seven-match encounter with 374 runs -- only the Man of the Series Ian Bell, with 422 runs, scored more -- including four half-centuries.

This is Tendulkar's highest position in the rankings since March 2006, when he briefly touched 11th position, and suggests there is plenty left in his batting locker despite media suggestions of impending retirement from one form of the game.

Apart from Tendulkar, India has three other batsmen in the top 20 - Dravid, who has dropped two places during the England series to 15th position, Yuvraj Singh, a non-mover at 18th and the 19th-placed Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Meanwhile, the series win -- England's first victory in a home ODI series since 2003 -- helped Paul Collingwood's side gain three rating points and overtake the West Indies to move to the seventh place. Table topper Australia is five points clear of second-placed South Africa, 21 ahead of India and 24 in front of England.

Among the English batsmen, Bell moved into the top 20 and is just one point short of his best rating, achieved earlier in the ODI series. He is one of two England players in the top 20, along with second-placed Kevin Pietersen, holding steady just behind leader Ricky Ponting of Australia.

In the LG ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers, all-rounder Andrew Flintoff remains Englands highest-ranked player and has climbed five places to 10th position after taking 10 wickets in the four matches he played.

Only one player took more wickets in the series than Flintoff and that was his team-mate James Anderson, and his great form has seen him climb 19 places to break into the top 20 at 14th.

In contrast, Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar, who started the series in 13th position, dropped 12 places, which means India is now without a bowler in the top 20.

Flintoff's excellence with the ball has also seen him rise to the second spot in the LG ICC Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders, overtaking Chris Gayle of the West Indies, Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka and Kallis in the process.

Flintoff, however, is still some distance behind the leader of that list, South African Shaun Pollock.

Pollock also tops the LG ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers, ahead of Australia's Nathan Bracken and Shane Bond of New Zealand. Below Ponting and Pietersen in the batting table comes the Australia duo of Michael Hussey and Matthew Hayden, together with South Africa captain Graeme Smith.

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