Anyone over 18 years can drop in and apply for a driving licence. (DC Photo)
The BRS is in search of a new driving force that can propel it, if not add votes to its kitty, at least retain its own once elections come knocking around. In the pursuit of this goal, BRS leaders, who are partial to surveys that show the ruling pink party having little support amongst voters below 45 years of age, previously tried to lure them by giving away sports and cricket kits, T-shirts, gymnasium equipment etc., through the several youth associations in their constituencies. Without any major rise in goodwill, the pink party leaders are now offering "free driving licences". To this end, "free driving licence melas", with an added promise that BRS leaders will take care of everything from paying fees, booking online test slots, etc are being held. Anyone over 18 years can drop in and apply for a driving licence. Sadly, the response has been terrible. Looks like the youth take their licence of vote, and power to vote for a change, far more seriously. The party’s determination to unleash a new set of people with driving licences on to the state’s roads and streets seems to have died a quiet death.
REVANTH’S EFFIGY GOES MISSING BEFORE TAMASHA
Political protests are serious business. There is shouting and sloganeering, either in support of a leader, or attacking another. Then of course, there are effigies to burn, but things did not go well (as with most plans these days) for BRS workers in Vemulawada of Rajanna Sircilla district. A group of ruling party workers marched to a local TSSPDCL office to protest and burn Congress leader A. Revanth Reddy’s effigy the other day, only to find that someone managed to vanish with their prized effigy. A frantic search followed and finally, the missing item was found. Breathing a sigh of relief, BRS workers then shouted their slogans, torched the effigy, took some selfies and went back home. No farmers joined the BRS protest, since the secret that most of them don’t get 24/7 power is now pretty much out in the public.
POLITICOS PRAYING FOR NO RAIN
There have been spotty rains in many of Telangana state’s districts. The grapevine has it that BRS leaders in several districts are praying that it does not rain heavily, despite farmers desperately hoping for rains. This is so they can actually show the successful power of BRS irrigation projects and supply water to reap votes in the elections. Worried over what constituents will say if heavy rains come and inundate towns and cities with poor infra and expose how little they did for the people, BRS leaders in the city and towns like Karimnagar and Warangal districts are said to be offering silent prayers that the rains stay away. In contradiction, the common people from villages are doing what they can to ensure the rains come, including performing weddings for frogs, and offering special prayers at temples. The conclusion — even in their prayers, BRS leaders and the people of Telangana state are on opposite sides.
TEMPLE TRIPS OFFERED IN EXCHANGE FOR FUTURE VOTES
Getting votes in Telangana state for BRS leaders this time around seems to be getting tougher if incidents in some districts are anything to go by. The party no longer can "showcase" the delivery of promises — 2BHK homes, jobs, free land plots. So they have been working on a string of distractions. Take Nizamabad for instance. BRS' Armoor MLA Ashannagari Jeevan Reddy has been organising tours to the Yadadri temple for his constituents hoping it would help reduce anti-incumbency against him in the next election. For good measure, these "teertha yatras" have a stopover at Mupkal pumphouse of Sriramsagar Project, linked to Kaleshwaram system. And unlike in Khammam for the Congress rally, Jeevan Reddy has been getting TSRTC buses for farmers’ trips easily. If only, voters were also that easy to convince as RTC management.
ANGRY WOMEN LET LOOSE THEIR IRE AT G.AMARNATH
Not every effort to woo voters works for a leader. Sometimes, such efforts go down the drain. Literally, as Gudivada Amarnath, minister in YSRC government in Andhra Pradesh discovered. Amarnath was at Kothatalaripalem in Anakapalli constituency where he laid the foundation stones for the construction of two drains. Amarnath, who faced some flack from women in the village for never visiting it since his election, left soon after the ceremonies, with police keeping at bay angry women who accused their MLA of not doing anything for the village so far. Two days later, the women pulled down the marble 'foundation stone' plaques and broke them into pieces.
PAWAN KALYAN LIGHTS FIRE UNDER YSRCP YET AGAIN
If nothing, Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan sure knows how to rile the ruling YSRC leaders in Andhra Pradesh. After his recent comments against village and ward level volunteers, which created a furore, he recently spoke about YSRC’s recent data collection drive. Volunteers, said Kalyan, were being entrusted with collecting data on families, including Aadhaar, bank account details, meaning the YSRC government was creating a parallel system that could be used for its party's political purposes, leaving the data open for abuse. YSRC leaders again attacked Pawan Kalyan, declaring he had no clue about what he is talking about. Facing criticism or not, Pawan Kalyan appears to be doing his bit to keep YSRC folks busy.