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Monday, July 30, 2007

Political Buzz : Whose speech is it anyway?

Ministers and bureaucrats who accompany a chief minister on a visit abroad are usually unable to hog the headlines and this is for obvious reasons. But one minister who visited the US recently alongwith chief minister garu is still trying to figure out how to get the best deal out of it.
Industries minister J Geeta Reddy on the said trip apparently gave a stirring speech which dwelt elaborately on the emergence of Telugu pride from the days of the battle of Talikota. Not unexpectedly the speech went unreported both in the Indian American media as well as the local media back home.

A little bird tells us that A K Goel, special chief secretary in the planning department, has taken it upon himself to spread the word about the oratorial skills of the minister by bringing out a book with a multi-colour wrapper and circulating this to all and sundry.

For those wondering why a speech delivered by a minister is being circulated by a babu, the story doing the rounds is that it is Goel himself who drafted the speech. So is it publicising the minister's speech, or, well, oneself?

Fact Sheet: Naidu fishing in troubled waters!

Obviously, it is Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu who is trying hard to cash in on the Bhooporatam taken up by the Communist parties, though he has not launched any such programme on behalf of the Telugu Desam.

Naidu has realised that the land struggle has all the potential to shake the government and therefore, the TD should see that it should continue to burn for another few months, if it has to gain mileage out of it. That is the reason why he has been adding fuel to the fire ignited by the Left parties. The Mudigonda incident has come as a blessing in disguise for Naidu, as he knows it will set the fire within the Congress and create all troubles for Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.

So, the Telugu Desam is making all efforts to please the people and at the same time, come closer to the Leftists. While the government announced an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the victims of firing, Naidu also announced another one lakh on behalf of the TD, so as to create a positive image for the party among the people.

And he is also not leaving the hands of the Communist leaders. He did not lose the opportunity of interacting with national leaders like Prakash Karat, Siraram Yechury and Gurdas Das Gupta to work out alternative strategies. In all probability, this incident might be a major milestone in the repolarisation of political forces and stabilisation of third front by next elections!

Behind The Scene: PJR develops cold feet!

Finally, Khairatabad MLA P Janardhan Reddy gave up his fight against Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy and his family, with regard to the recent unsavoury Jubilee Hills incident.

PJR, who threatened to launch an indefinite fast in protest against filing of "attempt to murder" case against his son Vishnuvardhan Reddy, met AICC president Sonia Gandhi and explained the sequence of events in connection with the incident. He also reportedly brought to her notice, the unruly atmosphere prevailing in the YSR government and the growing resentment among the people against the government. The Mudigonda police firing incident also reportedly came up for discussion during his brief interaction with Sonia.

Nobody knows openly as to what Sonia told him, but PJR said he would not take up any agitations against YSR or his family and that Sonia had given him an assurance that "everything would be alright in a few days." He did not elaborate on what Sonia meant, but sources close to PJR draw the inference that she had assured him to see that YSR's brother Ravindra Reddy would withdraw case against PJR's son. It could also be a hint that there could be changes in the leadership in the State and PJR would get his due recognition in future.

Behind The Scene: Pilot buro or politburo?

When the mediapesons were seriously covering the incident of killing of seven persons in police firing at Mudigonda in Khammam district on Saturday on all angles, Rajya Sabha member V Hanumantha Rao has provided the much-needed comic relief to mediapersons with his innocent and ignorant questions.

While even the die-hard Congress leaders are openly and privately admitting that the Mudigonda firing incident has projected Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy in bad light, Hanumantha Rao strongly defended the Chief Minister, saying the incident would not have happened had the Communists used their "brains" and not provoked innocent people. He wondered why that "pilot buro member" (sic!) was demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister – he was referring to CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechury's demand.

"What is that place in West Bengal, where the police fired at innocent people?" he asked reporters. When someone said Nandigram, VH said: "Aah, that same gaaon. Why didn't that pilot buro member asked Bengal CM to resign?" he asked.

Behind The Scene: YSR under Sonia scanner!

The Mudigonda firing incident, which rocked the entire nation, has virtually pulled the carpet from under the feet of Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy.

Though there is no immediate threat to YSR of losing his Chief Minister's post, AICC president Sonia Gandhi has certainly put him under the scanner. Already, the AICC headquarters in New Delhi is being flooded with innumerable complaints against the Rajasekhara Reddy government, especially with regard to high level of nepotism being shown by him and his associates. Everyday, one dissident leader or the other is coming to the AICC with a host of complaints against YSR. However, hitherto, Sonia has not taken them so seriously as to think of replacing YSR with another leader.

But after the Saturday's Mudigonda firing incident, Sonia has been under pressure from the Left parties, which are the main pillars of the UPA government, to remove YSR. The CPI-M politburo, which would be meeting in New Delhi on Monday, is expected to press for the ouster of YSR. If that happens, it would be politically disastrous for the Congress in Andhra Pradesh, which is going to polls in just around 20 months. This would only mean handing over power to the Opposition parties on a platter. Will Sonia agree for that remains to be seen.

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