Deccan Chronicle


Deccan Chronicle. | DC Correspondent

Published on: May 13, 2023 | Updated on: May 14, 2023

The minister may have a quick silvered tongue but his comments have left a bad taste among farmers.

Idiots? Or loved ones? Apparently for AP's minister for civil supplies Karumuri Venkata Nageswara Rao, those epithets are interchangeable.

Idiots? Or loved ones? Apparently for AP's minister for civil supplies Karumuri Venkata Nageswara Rao, those epithets are interchangeable.

Building a grandiose Secretariat is one thing. Keeping it spic and span is another. Even as ministers, officials and staff have begun to settle in the Secretariat, realisation has dawned that there is more to the building than just its new look and ambience. With visitors busy taking pictures and selfies, and some that are unsavoury for the government that showed rainwater seepage and broken steps on staircases making unwelcome rounds on social media platforms, department heads have received a fiat that it is up to them to keep the place clean in their respective blocks. Since the work flow on such matters travels downwards, the around 80 cleaning and maintenance staff are at their wits end. This staff had managed to keep the temporary Secretariat at the BRKR Bhavan with its 1.6 lakh sq. ft of built-up space going but now find themselves hopelessly outmatched by the sheer scale and spread of the Secretariat which boasts of around 7 lakh sq. ft. With the janitorial staff making it clear that they can’t perform miracles, some rudimentary calculations by babus found that it will cost around 1.5 crore a month for maintenance. Sweeping changes, clearly, are not easy tasks.


Former chief secretary Somesh Kumar is back in the Secretariat as chief adviser to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao. He is the second chief adviser to be appointed after another former chief secretary Rajiv Sharma. The prominence given to Somesh as chief adviser can be gauged from the fact that he was allocated his chambers on the sixth floor of the Secretariat, sharing the floor with the CM, CMO officials, and Chief Secretary A. Santhi Kumari. Another 10 advisers appointed by the CM have not found space on the sixth floor. Somesh started attending review meetings held by the CM, ministers and officials even before he took charge as chief adviser on Saturday. Speculation is rife that Somesh will play a key role when the BRS faces the Assembly polls. The CM reportedly handed over to Somesh the prime task of mobilising financial resources for the smooth and speedy implementation of welfare schemes and development programmes in the election year and ensure a third term for the BRS government.


Senior IAS officer Arvind Kumar who heads MA&UD department and HMDA, reportedly got ticked off by minister K.T. Rama Rao for misleading the government on a land parcel in Puppalguda that is under the possession of the Adarshnagar Mutually Aided Cooperative Housing Society, in which nearly 400 IAS and IPS officers, some retired, are members. The government reportedly gave permission to the HMDA to build a 100-foot road across the property after Arvind Kumar informed that the land belonged to the government. After the IAS and IPS officers from the society strongly resisted and threatened legal action against laying the road without the society’s permission, and without following due procedure like payment of compensation, the issue attracted headlines which caused a huge embarrassment to the government. The government was told by the society members that Arvind Kumar had developed a grudge against the society as he was not given membership due to which he resorted to his act. Rama Rao reportedly directed Arvind Kumar to follow due procedure to lay the road.


Marriages may be made in heaven. But for politicians, weddings clearly are heaven sent opportunities to meet with people from their constituencies, and without really asking for it, hope for some support from the gatherings. It is now a common sight to see BRS, and opposition BJP and Congress leaders attending weddings in their constituencies. With the Assembly elections rolling in later this year, a wedding gathering is as good a place as any to meet their voters. While for the bride and groom, and their parents, the presence of an MLA, or other elected leaders at the weddings is clearly a welcome experience, for the politicians, it is more of what they might lose than what they might gain if they do not attend weddings or other family functions of their constituents. "We get to meet at least 100 people at weddings of whom at least half, we hope, will vote for us. The pictures that make the rounds later also are of some help. But the real issue is if we do not attend these events, then the likelihood of losing support of the entire lot of attendees is very real," one leader, a regular at weddings in his constituency, explained.


Skimming something off the top is not a very difficult task. But to do so without anyone noticing, is a fine art as the chances of getting caught doing so are very real. This is reportedly the situation some police officials, who have been manning checkposts on the Telangana-Karnataka border before the May 10 polling in Karnataka now find themselves in. Their job was to keep a check on the smuggling of liquor, and cash that could be used to influence voters, into Karnataka. Reports doing the rounds say the police have done their job, and in the process seized many lakhs of rupees in cash. But the problem was that the seizure of only 10 lakh was officially announced, setting off rumours that some seized cash, disappeared without anyone else being the wiser. This being the case, senior police officials have called for an inquiry in the possible missing cash. Looks like some senior police officials still believe in the system of cheques and balances.


People in politics, are usually just one word, or a sentence away from controversies, or even disastrous outcomes for their political future. Just ask Saluru MLA and AP Deputy Chief Minister Peedika Rajanna Dora who had to quickly backtrack on his words during a visit to Kottuparuvu village the other day. On a sticky wicket over the laying of a road and objections from non-tribals settled in the area, Dora was quick to declare that he will seek the entire area to be declared as a Scheduled area, a short form for saying only tribals will have rights over land. But then as realisation does, it did dawn on Dora that non-tribals settled in the area too are his voters and he hastened to clarify, even as he chose to chastise the media for "distorting" his comments, at another event where he declared that he was never against the settlers, and quickly ran through his record as an MLA since 2006 on how he stood by all his constituents, settlers or tribals.


Idiots? Or loved ones? Apparently for AP’s minister for civil supplies Karumuri Venkata Nageswara Rao, those epithets are interchangeable. Recently at an event at Velpur of Tanuku mandal, he was besieged by farmers who complained that the paddy they harvested was not being purchased and the rains were destroying their harvested crops. When they kept going about their woes, Rao apparently lost his cool and called the complaining farmers using language that conveyed the complaining farmers were idiots. When this began making the rounds, the next day, during his inspection of fields where rain hit crops were the order of the day, Rao tried to make amends that he was misquoted and what he meant was that the farmers were the loved ones. The minister may have a quick silvered tongue but his comments have left a bad taste among farmers.

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