Update: 2024-03-31 02:45 GMT
Malkajgiri the lucky ticket.

The case of tapping of phones illegally in Telangana has raised some very uncomfortable questions. No one, it appears, was exempt. Even then DGP M. Mahender Reddy’s phone was not off limits for the gang of police officers who ran the tapping operations, if word doing the rounds is to be believed on some WhatsApp cop groups featuring light-hearted exchanges asking cops to check if their phone too was tapped. Jokes apart, the fact that their phones were tapped has set off a measure of panic among some police officers who may have things to hide, and consternation among others.


What’s so special about Malkajgiri, be it the Assembly segment or the Lok Sabha constituency? For candidates who vie to contest from there, it is all about what the future might hold. Ever since the constituency came into being in 2009 to become the largest in the country, those who won from there went on to get plum posts in the government, be it at the state or central level. Sarvey Satyanarayana from the Congress who won in 2009 went on to become Union minister in the Dr Manmohan Singh Cabinet. In 2014, Ch. Malla Reddy won from the TD and switched to the BRS, contested the Assembly polls while he was MP, won and became minister in the KCR’s Cabinet. In 2019, A. Revanth Reddy won from Malkajgiri and is now Chief Minister. Now Etala Rajendar from the BJP, P. Sunitha Mahender Reddy from the Congress and R. Laxma Reddy from the BRS are testing their luck from Malkajgiri.


Film producer Dil Raju may have been wooed by the Congress and the BJP to contest on their behalf in the Lok Sabha elections with the option to pick Nizamabad constituency or even from Zaheerabad but he said no to both options. Then came members from his family who threw their hat into the ring in the case of Dil Raju’s elder brother V. Narasimha Reddy, who goes by the moniker Vinare, and wanted the Congress ticket. But the Induru Tirumala Temple set up by Dil Raju’s family in its native Narsingpally village, was seen as a possible handicap and Vinare was not picked by the party which instead gave the ticket to senior leader T. Jeevan Reddy. The family’s well-wishers were aghast, stating that the BJP was making the Rama Temple in Ayodhya a talking point while the Congress did not want to consider someone who had set up a popular temple in their village.


Anything to get votes. Even asking women to lay down the law at home. This is one of the campaign calls by TD supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu who is asking women to tell their menfolk to vote for the TD. If they don’t want to do this, then cut off their food supply, tell them no food will be made for them if they don’t support the TD and vote for it in the coming elections. Naidu implored women to follow this advice and ensure the TD’s success, while addressing an election rally in his home Assembly segment of Kuppam in Chittoor district the other day. Food for thought or food for votes, that is the question wags are now asking about the TD.


One last chance. That is the plea being made by former ministers Anam Ramnarayana Reddy and Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy from Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh in their campaign for the coming Assembly elections. Both are calling on the people to give them that one more, and last, opportunity to serve, but it is anybody’s guess if this strategy will work. Might gain some sympathy, is the view of political observers but such appeals might not turn into votes, they say. If this happens, the 2024 elections could well be the last for these two leaders unfortunately.


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