NETA NATTER | KCR TAKES THE HIGH ROAD, MEETS PREZ
Many questioned whether BRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao would receive and meet President Droupadi Murmu on her annual southern sojourn to Hyderabad. How could any Chief Minister refuse to turn up to greet the First Citizen, the first-ever President from the Scheduled Tribes community, and a lady, on her first visit to the state after assuming the chair? Especially given the national ambitions of the BRS, the meeting meant every move of KCR would be analysed across the country. With purported plans of KCR visiting Delhi on December 26 ahead of her arrival already having been “leaked”, the question became all the more relevant. The CM, however, surprised his detractors when he rescheduled his travel plans and make sure he was in the city to greet the First Lady. He welcomed the President, though he gave a miss to the ‘At Home’ banquet hosted in the President’s honour by Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan at Raj Bhavan, proving to all that when it comes to statesmanship he is after all a magnanimous politician.
NEW MINISTERIAL POSITIONS CAUSE FEEDING FRENZY
Never say never. After all, situations change and two weeks is indeed too long a time in politics. Hoping that would be their case of finding a place in the Telangana state Cabinet are some senior BRS MLAs of erstwhile Adilabad district, hoping that their last hope for landing a minister’s post would reach fruition. Hopes were raised among some MLAs with some reports that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao may go for a Cabinet expansion. Supporters of a young MLA from Mancherial district started promoting the candidature of their boss for a Cabinet berth on social media. This set off a frenzy of sorts among other aspirants, who too started flooding social media platforms with videos of development work undertaken in their constituencies, and clips showing how close they are to the party’s top bosses. Hope is a good breakfast, but a terrible dinner.
TO STAY OR NOT TO STAY? — KOMATIREDDY TO CONGRESS
Guessing games are the staple of politics. If that politician happens to be Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, Congress Parliamentarian from Bhongir, no newcomer to controversies, the interest gets more intense. Congress circles continue to wonder what Venkat Reddy’s political plans are, especially after his brother Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy’s defeat in the Munugode byelection on a BJP ticket. Venkat Reddy’s sole comment — that he would not speak of politics until the next Assembly elections schedule was announced, and would solely focus on constituency development — has only piqued interest. Will he stay with the Congress, or join the BJP is the big question doing the rounds in political circles. Happy to stay in the limelight, Venkat Reddy continues to stay silent.
BABU HATES BACKSTABBER TITLE
Across the border, elections are far away but the intensity is high. So is the game of abusing rivals. Once a backstabber, such monikers can haunt a person for a lifetime. TD president N. Chandrababu Naidu appears to be stuck with this one. Every time someone mentions the late N.T. Rama Rao, the story reruns. The Babu backstabbing NTR story irks Naidu’s staunch followers. A recent mention of the dethroning of NTR episode by former vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu riled TD leaders, who have been left wondering if this stigmatic moniker can ever be got rid of.
PAWAN FIGHTS BACK
Name calling is easy, especially in politics, when it comes to targeting a rival. At the receiving end is Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan, who has been dubbed a ‘Weekend Politician’ by ruling YSRC leaders. Earlier, they had labelled N. Chandrababu Naidu, and his son Nara Lokesh, ‘Non-Resident Andhras’ (NRAs) living in Hyderabad, Telangana state, and working as visiting politicians. The YSRC has now extended similar courtesy to Pawan Kalyan, calling him a weekend politician. To this, Pawan responded that unlike YSRC president and AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, he does not have huge ill-gotten funds to spend; and so has to depend on making movies to earn money to spend on his party. Retorting, the YSRC said Pawan was a ‘Package Politician’ and ‘Naidu's Pet’.
CURIOUS CASE OF THE CHICKEN SCAM AND RANJITH REDDY
Strange and unpredictable are political friendships and bonds. When the news of an over Rs 1,200 crore poultry feed scam broke out, no one from the BRS rushed to the aid of the man at the Centre of the controversy, Chevella Lok Sabha member G. Ranjith Reddy. It surprised many seasoned analysts and scribes that some BRS leaders were actually happy over his troubles. It was not over his quick rise in politics, or in getting close to the top leadership, but apparently the result of anxiety caused because of rumours that he was considering moving to contest as an MLA in the next elections. While these BRS leaders made all efforts to find out more about his dealings, and some of them even shared more details of more potential scams, one political leader who has come out in support of Ranjith Reddy in the poultry feed scam is senior BJP leader and Huzurabad MLA Etala Rajendar. Rajendar made it a point to call senior mediapersons to tell them what a wonderful human being and great poultry federation president Ranjith was. While Rajendar ensured the BJP did not make much of the issue, former MLA and Congress spokesperson Anil Eravathri made every effort to bring up the issue while addressing a press conference, and demanding a probe from Central agencies.