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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.

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