Update: 2023-04-01 18:38 GMT

IT minister K.T. Rama Rao can also be a stickler for rules, definitely when it comes to protocol by inviting corporators of Opposition parties to programmes in Hyderabad. But, after turning up at the event, BJP corporators are finding themselves at the receiving end, thanks to some not-so-subtle ribbing at the hands of the minister. Such was the case the other day at the LB Nagar flyover inauguration, attended by BJP corporator V. Madhusudhan Reddy, and the lakes development programme in Khajaguda, attended by Gachibowli BJP corporator Gangadhar Reddy. At both venues, Rama Rao said everyone, including the BJP corporators, knew that the BRS was set to return to power with K. Chandrashekar Rao as a third term Chief Minister and went on to add that everyone makes mistakes and these corporators did so too by joining the BJP.

The BRS government funds and takes up development in constituencies and divisions represented by Opposition parties without discrimination, but the BJP government at the Centre discriminates against Telangana just because the state is not led by BJP. While KTR’s comments invoked laughter from the audience, BJP corporators were left red-faced. The real secret, they later said, was that the constituencies where these programmes were held, were represented by BRS legislators. Now you know why he came here, was their refrain.



When A. Santhi Kumari took over as Chief Secretary in January replacing Somesh Kumar, bureaucratic circles widely believed that the situation would change with regard to the CS retaining full additional charge (FAC) of key portfolios. They believed that senior IAS officers would get key portfolios and CS would not hold FAC for long. Before her, Somesh Kumar held all key portfolios of Chief Commissioner of Land Administration (CCLA), Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) chairman, special chief secretary of revenue (commercial taxes and excise). After Santhi Kumari took over, only CCLA was handed over to Navin Mittal. The government gave additional charge of RERA chairperson to her first early this month and two days ago she was given additional charge of special CS of revenue (commercial and excise) dashing the hopes of senior IAS officers who had set their eyes on these plum posts for long.



The now legendary Chaitanya Ratham used by Telugu Desam founder, former chief minister N.T. Rama Rao, made a surprise appearance the other day at the party headquarters in Hyderabad evoking nostalgic memories for many long-time leaders. NTR used the vehicle for 12 years from 1982 to 1994. People fondly recalled the news NTR made every morning as he stepped out of the Ratham for his bath, how he managed in its cramped quarters with a single cot bed, a sofa set and stairs to the top of the vehicle to address the gatherings. Some similarities were also drawn on how another former chief minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, also used to take his bath in full public view during his Praja Prasthanam walkathon. Things have changed, with leaders to today using well-appointed caravans during their padayatras or political meetings. Changing times and changing preferences were the talk of the day as TD leaders reminisced about the late NTR and his campaigns.



Where does charity begin? Ask any BJP leader these days and the answer is “at home”, at least as far as BRS MLC K. Kavitha’s demand for 33 per cent reservation for women is concerned. Kavitha, who has been in the eye of the political storm kicked up by the Delhi liquor scam, took up the cause of women’s reservation but the criticism has been swift in coming. Why has she never asked her father and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao to implement the same in Telangana state? This is the question that begs the answer, say BJP leaders. Forget holding protests in Delhi in support of her demand, she should do so in front of Pragathi Bhavan if she is sincere about the issue, is the BJP line, with the party trying to take the wind out of Kavitha’s women’s reservation sail even before that boat sets sail in politically troubled waters that she is negotiating.



Nothing comes cheap. Definitely not padayatras these days. There are costs of mobilising people, feeding them, and so on, not to speak of associated daily maintenance costs of the leader undertaking the walkathon. But then, to be in the good books of party bosses, one must fork out the sums needed, and resigned to this fact appears to be Sangareddy MLA T. Jagga Reddy awaiting Telangana Congress president A. Revanth Reddy to enter his constituency on his padayatra. It is not just Jagga Reddy, several party leaders appear resigned to the fact that they must make these “investments” for long-term political prospects, despite having spent from their pockets for various bypolls. The question that bothers them is if they spend now, will they have enough when the elections roll around? Should we cash in now, or spend cash later is the question the party leaders are grappling with.



There are never permanent enemies in politics, or for that matter, no permanent opponents. Proving this yet again is the YSRC government in Andhra Pradesh which withdrew cases against those accused of arson including burning down of the houses of minister P. Viswaroop, and MLA Ponnada Satish Kumar, as well as other YSRC leaders in Amalapuram. The cases were filed after protests arose against renaming the Konaseema district after Dr B.R. Ambedkar. Viswaroop and Satish Kumar were the worst sufferers and police registered cases against the leaders and cadres of Opposition parties but the changing political scenario has now led to the ruling party withdrawing the cases, particularly to keep the youth on the side of the party. The outcome was that some Opposition leaders met with Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to express their gratitude thus showing again that foes can easily become friends when politically suitable for both sides.


Sometimes, an apparently well-meaning statement can sound completely off target during public meetings addressed by politicians. Experiencing this was AP’s revenue minister Dharmana Prasada Rao who termed men as vagabonds, raising many eyebrows at a meeting where he was distributing financial aid to women under the YSR Aasara Scheme. Prasada Rao said men just roam around doing little for the home and it was the women who carry all the responsibilities, and this was the reason why the government decided to make women the recipients of benefits of the welfare schemes. This set tongues wagging immediately that when it comes to voting, most families follow the diktats of the men of the house. Getting carried away while speaking to the public has its own pitfalls, as Prasada Rao apparently realised soon after.


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