Hyderabad: Within 20 days of the new government, C.L. Rajam, chairman and managing director of Namaste Telangana, a Telugu daily from Telangana, bid farewell to his newspaper and handed over the management to Damodara Rao, a key aide of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
At a function held in the office on Thursday evening, Mr Rajam who had earlier refused to sell the majority of shares to Mr Rao’s aide, quit his post and transferred the majority shares to Mr Damodara Rao, who now becomes the CMD of the publication.
“It is true that I had decided to keep the majority shares with me and continue the operations, but I have changed my mind and handed over the management to Mr Damodara Rao,” Rajam told this correspondent on Friday.
Mr Damodara Rao, an auditor by profession, has been a key aide of the TRS chief.
Interestingly, the editor of Namaste Telangana Allam Narayana is being appointed as chairman of Telangana Press Academy. Mr Narayana, a writer, has been an activist in the Telangana agitation.
It is reliably learnt that the Chief Minister had invited Mr Rajam for talks three days ago and “convinced” him to transfer the majority shares which the latter had been opposing. Mr Rajam said, “Due to my other commitments I am unable to find time for the Telugu newspaper, but I will concentrate on developing my English publication Metro India. Mr Rajam had joined the BJP in the presence of Mr Rajnath Singh in June."
Namaste Telangana, launched three years ago, was originally promoted by the family members of Mr Chandrasekhar Rao and Mr Damodara Rao.
But after realising that the newspaper would have to sustain huge losses at least in the initial years, Mr Rao decided to transfer his family shares to Mr Rajam and held back only 24 per cent shares. The efforts to gain majority share holding in the publication by the TRS leadership were intensified after the party came to power in Telangana.
Mr Rajam denied he had acted under pressure....