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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Buzz: Will Vishnu step into PJR's shoes?

The sudden demise of Khairatabad MLA P Janardhan Reddy has left the Congress leadership in a state of confusion as to who would fill the void.

The followers of PJR feel his son Vishnuvardhan Reddy is the natural choice as the Congress candidate in the byelections to Khairatabad seat, which would be held in a couple of months. But sources close to Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy wonder whether or not Vishnu would be the right choice. By nature, Vishnu is different from PJR, who was basically a man of the masses as he grew to the top from the bottom. On the other hand, Vishnu is arrogance personified and has no cordial relationship with any of the Congress leaders, despite being an NSUI leader. All that he knows is to go to parties along with friends, enjoy with girls and occasionally get into quarrels with people.

Sources say even the Chief Minister might not favour Vishnu's candidature, especially because of childish behaviour which was evident from the way he beat up his brother Y S Ravindranath Reddy some time back. Instead, the Chief Minister might favour PJR's wife Sulochana and recommend her name to the high command. Let us see what is going to happen in the coming days.

Aus register 15th straight Test win as India collapse

Melbourne (IANS) India slumped to one of their biggest defeats in recent times as they lost the first Test to Australia by 337 runs, on the fourth day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here Saturday.

Chasing a target of 499 runs, India were bundled out of 161 runs in the second and failed to cross the 200-mark in the both the innings. The Australian juggernaut, meanwhile, kept rolling as Ricky Ponting's side registered their 15th consecutive Test victory and is now one short of equalling their record of 16 wins under Steve Waugh. It was also Australia's nine successive win at the MCG.

Australia declared at 351 for seven late on the third day and India, who were dismissed for 196 runs in reply to Australia's first innings of 343, needed to a record score to win the match but it was too much of asking from them and they perished under the heavy hopes and failed to last even five days.

The highest successful run-chase at the MCG was England's 332 against Australia in the 1928-29 Ashes series. Only three sides have ever successfully chased in excess of 400 runs in the fourth innings of a Test.

For all their defiance, Indians failed and barring V.V.S. Laxman (42) and Sourav Ganguly (40), none of the Indian batsmen could put up a fight and perished with a whimper. Mitchell Johnson was the top bowler with his three for 21 while Brett Lee and Brad Hogg picked up two wickets each in the second innings. Matthew Hayden was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 124 in the first innings.

India, resuming on their overnight score of six for no loss, suffered the first set-back when fast bowler Brett Lee struck with his away going delivery as opener Wasim Jaffer (15) swished at it and wicket keeper Adam Gilchrist took an easy catch. With the catch Gilchrist became Australia's most successful wicketkeeper with 396 catches and left Ian Healy one behind.

Make-shift opener Rahul Dravid (16) in the company of V.V.S Laxman (42) looked set to see the first session through. But Dravid departed in the last over before lunch after the innocuous Andrew Symonds trapped him in front of the wicket. Dravid stonewalled for two and half hours and faced 114 balls for 16 and his exit left India dangling at 56 for two at lunch.

Sachin Tendulkar (15), after a brisk 62 in the first innings, was keen to attack and drove Lee through point for four. But he was out-thought by Lee, who followed a quick bouncer with a good ball outside off stump that was too full to cut, luring Tendulkar into the shot, which he edged to Gilchrist.

India was cruising along well when Ganguly and Laxman were at the crease. Laxman worked well for his 42 but fell to the frustration of Stuart Clark's tight bowling. Laxman drove on the up straight to Michael Clarke at cover. Laxman was watchful in his 112-ball innings but was quickly onto any bad balls from left-arm spinner Brad Hogg, who dropped short more often than he would like. Laxman pulled a pair of Hogg deliveries through midwicket for boundaries and was also impressive with his straight drives.

Ganguly was also prepared to take risks and more than once cut hard in the air near gully off Clark. He kept on fighting the sweltering heat and also slumped on to the ground after running a two. He needed attention from the team physio and batted on in near 40-degree heat, but kept on losing partners at the other end. He was the ninth wicket after he was trapped leg before by Hogg.

Young guns Mahndra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh failed for the second time in the innings and couldn't rescue India. Yuvraj departed for five shortly before tea, missing a straighter ball from Hogg that would have crashed into his stumps. It was come and go situation for tail enders and India handed Australia a easy win.

TV9 and NTV Did Business With PJR's Death

PJR passed away yesterday suddenly and it is obvious that the two top news channels TV9 and NTV started rolling on incessant news bulletins since the news broke down. But simultaneously they have done business by asking people to send condolences to PJR's family through SMS.

"That's the trick of business which can be accepted- but cashing the situation of death is something condemnable", says a viewer.

Estimation says that the money earned through SMS is being used by those channels to cover many expenses and the salaries of a few employees as well.

Keeping that business aspect aside, TV9 is doing demeaning act by being careless in some issues. The reporter standing in front of PJR's house says, "Every body is grief-stricken here and the surroundings are dull". But the general public who were standing behind the reporter were seen laughing with happiness for showing their faces to TV9 camera. A few guys were taking out their cell phones and calling their friends to switch on TV9 and see them. They were also taking confirmation if they were seen in the channel with smiles. When the news and the report was in sorrow, allowing general public who does such demeaning acts proves to be a mismanagement of TV9 reporter and cameraman. They should take care for not allowing the general public stand behind reporter while reporting news of sorrow.

YSR did not know PJR died in his presence

Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy was addressing Congress workers at a function hall in the city in connection with the arrangements for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections. Even as Rajasekhar Reddy was addressing the meeting, Khairatabad legislator P Janardhan Reddy got down from the car and collapsed. Rajasekhar Reddy continued with his speech because he did not know what had happened. When he completed his address, he was told that Janardhan Reddy collapsed and was rushed to a corporate hospital.

Rajasekhar Reddy said he would have an official programme and after attending it, he would visit the hospital to call on Janardhan Reddy.

Rajasekhar Reddy left the function hall without knowing that Janardhan Reddy had died while being shifted to the hospital. After sometime, his security personnel informed him that PJR had died.

Janardhan Reddy had been keeping ill health for quite some time and had in fact underwent medical treatment in Hyderabad and Bangalore. But Janardhan Reddy did not tell anyone that he was not well. He projected himself as a healthy person though from inside he was not keeping well.

BJP divided over taking TRS support

The State Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be divided over joining hands with the Telangna Rashtra Samithi in the coming elections.

While a section of the BJP leaders feel that since the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh election results have revived the hopes of NDA coming back to power at the Centre, it would be a better option to have a tie-up with the TRS in the next elections, so that it could at least win a few seats in Telangana and strengthen the NDA with the TRS support.

However, some other BJP leaders feel a tie-up with the TRS would spoil the image of the party. The way TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao was pampering the Muslims by praising Nizam and hobnobbing with the Muslim leaders would prove counter-productive for the BJP, if they had a tie-up. Moreover, it was doubtful, whether the people had still faith in the leadership of KCR. On the other hand, it would be better to have an understanding with other Telangana outfits like Talli Telangana, they suggest. The party would have better prospects, if it contested alone, by including the Telangana agenda in its manifesto and promising the people that it would grant Telangana State within three months, if the NDA comes to power at the Centre, they say.

Jagan: Sakshi is coming up against biased media

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The media market in Andhra Pradesh is heating up with Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, 35, an entrepreneur with extensive interests in mining, power generation, construction, cement, all set for a major newspaper launch as early as February.

Y. S. Jagan Mohan ReddyReddy, who is the son of Andhra Pradesh chief ministerY.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, will be launching a Telugu daily, ‘Sakshi’ (which means witness), followed by a 24x7 television news channel, which, according to some media reports, will be branded Indira TV.

Sakshi will enter a crowded field of eight Telugu daily newspapers, including market leader Eenadu, as well as Andhra Jyothy, Vaartha, Andhra Prabha, Andhra Bhoomi, Vishalandhra, Prajasakthi and Surya.

In a rare chat, Reddy talked about why there is the need for a ninth Telugu newspaper and perceptions that Sakshi will be a vehicle for the ruling Congress Party in Andhra Pradesh. Edited excerpts:

What is the need for one more Telugu daily?
Most of the Telugu media, especially the newspapers, have become completely biased and one-sided and I think the readers are deprived of a credible and objective newspaper. There is a large vacuum, which we plan to fill with wholesome reporting. Editorial content is going to be reader-centric and original.

As a business proposition, media appears promising with high potential and scope for attractive returns.

Given the background of the promoters, is this going to be a pro-Congress daily?
Sakshi is coming up against biased media. We cannot afford to be one-sided.

We see a reader and not a Congress or other party reader. We firmly believe in the saying that ‘facts are sacred and comment is free.’

But, papers such as Eenadu and Andhra Jyothy are already well entrenched.

We have aggressive strategies to take on the existing, well-established newspapers. Obviously, I cannot reveal the exact strategies. But, broadly we will take on competition by offering the reader a completely different newspaper in terms of both print quality and clarity of news.

When is the launch date?
We are planning to launch the newspaper close to February-end.

How much investment is going into this venture?
I cannot give you an exact figure at this point of time as we expect investments to increase until the date of launch.

How will Sakshi be different?
Sakshi is going to be the first Telugu daily with all the pages in multi-colour, and the first Telugu daily to be designed by a well-known international designer. (US-based Mario Garcia, who also designed Mint).

I can only say that the Telugu reader is going to have a refreshing and pleasant experience.

How many editions will the newspaper have?
We will come out from 19 centres within Andra Pradesh and four editions from metros, such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. We are launching all editions at one go.

What would be the cover price?
Please wait and see.

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