KCR said that he would give tickets to only maximum MLAs for the upcoming Assembly polls, and his words set off ripples of uncertainty and fear among several ruling party MLAs.
Reading between the lines might be a skill some develop over time. But for those in politics, this ability could mean the difference between longevity and relevance in public life, or a life of that of a discarded leader, a once has been. Struggling to get their readings right are reportedly a large bunch of BRS leaders after their party president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, who in the past renewed all BRS sitting MLAs’ tickets for the next Assembly polls, changed his tone this past Wednesday during his address at a joint meeting of BRS MLAS, MLCs and MPs at Telangana Bhavan. He said that he would give tickets to only "maximum MLAs" for the upcoming Assembly polls, and his words set off ripples of uncertainty and fear among several ruling party MLAs. The previous confidence some had that despite challenges and dissidence from their competitors in their constituencies their seats in the Legislature would be secure. Now, uncertainty reigns on who falls into the non-maximum MLA category. Already, various lists with the names of 30 "non-performing" and "corrupt" MLAs are making the rounds on social media platforms causing anxiety to many sitting MLAs. Fear, as Alistair McLean called one of his potboiler novels, might just be the key the BRS chief is using to get his flock to fall in line.
IAS OFFICER’S MURDERER RELEASED WITHOUT MUCH ADO
Strange are the ways of babudom. IAS officers are unable to understand why their own association has stayed silent so far on the Bihar government’s decision to release gangster-turned-politician Anand Mohan Singh, who was serving a life term in prison over the murder of a Telangana state-native and Dalit IAS officer G. Krishnaiah in December 1994, while Krishnaiah was serving as District Magistrate of Gopalganj. The Bihar bureaucracy’s decision to change the classification rules of prisoners that enabled Singh’s release was suspicious enough and Telangana state IAS officers, around 200 of them are aghast at the silence of their own state association and not stepping forward to condemn the Bihar government’s decision when the IAS officers associations in several other states did not hesitate to do so. Could it be some unknown Bihari links and some very powerful babus in Telangana state that are keeping the Telangana IAS Officers Association’s tongue tied on this issue? Most members of the state association are upset over the silence despite their repeated requests to the state IAS Officers Association president Rani Kumidini, and joint secretary Jayesh Ranjan. But then, our bureaucracy spins wheels within wheels and this has left many wondering why the state association is not able to speak up and condemn Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision.
KTR CONFIRMS CHIEF WHIP’S TICKET
Dasyam Vinay Bhaskar, the BRS MLA from Hanamkonda and government Chief Whip has been jittery for some time over his continued prospects as an MLA. He recently breathed a sigh of huge relief though. The reason? BRS working president and minister K.T. Rama Rao said Vinay Bhaskar will be the party’s candidate for Hanamkonda when Assembly elections roll around. While Bhaskar, who organised massive public meetings and had KTR as the chief guest looked visibly relieved, not so jubilant was the party MLC and Rythu Coordination Committee chairman Palla Rajeswhar Reddy who had been eyeing the party ticket from Hanamkonda, and had been doing some groundwork, getting his people in place in some key party positions in the constituency. This is what reportedly irked Vinay Bhaskar leading to the meeting where his candidature was more or less announced leaving Palla, a close associate of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, high and dry.
KCR VISITS KEEP WEST-ZONE COPS ON THEIR TOES
It is action time for cops from the West and Central zones of the city, after a relatively relaxed few years. With Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao deciding to visit his office in the new secretariat regularly, unlike in the past where he stayed away from the old one, the city police from the two zones are finding themselves more and more on their toes, and with no clear schedules of the Chief Minister with regard to when he would visit the Secretariat, cops say they are having to spend long hours in the sun. That may be so, but to be fair, the cops do say that it is their duty to ensure proper bandobust and ensure the safety of the Chief Minister. Now, if only, the Sun would beat down on them a little less, things would be better, they say.
CONGRESS UNITY IN KARNATAKA NOT VISIBLE IN TS
Looks like internal bickering and attempts at one-upmanship are not leaving the Telangana state Congress anytime soon. At the core of the issue appears to be a need to constantly be in the media for someone seen as a challenger — as witnessed the other day when CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka held a press conference at Mahbubnagar with arrangements for mediapersons from Hyderabad to attend the press meet. TPCC president A. Revanth Reddy held a "chit-chat" with reporters later the same evening at his residence where he talked about the party manifesto for Assembly polls — in other words — talked about "more important" issues. In yet another episode the raid by the Cybercrime police brought to light the feud between former TPCC president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy and Revanth Reddy with the cops raiding the party war room, run under Revanth Reddy’s directions, leaving several party leaders to lament that the unity that saw the Congress win in Karnataka is nowhere visible in Telangana state.
YOUTH EVENTS THE NEXT BIG THING FOR POLITICOS
Politics aren’t always fun and games, but when it comes to attracting youths, political parties invoke their inner sporting spirit. Telangana state has seen some sporting events organised by the BJP under its Khelo India banner for youths in various sports, particularly in cricket. Not lagging behind is the BRS which is going all out with its CM’s Cup events in 18 different sports across the state. "All this is old news for me," could be the line taken by senior Congress leader V. Hanumantha Rao who had been for years organising cricket tournaments for youngsters. But if one doesn’t want to jump into the arena but also be a part of this reachout to the youth, TPCC president A. Revanth Reddy is showing the way by organising a quiz competition. It remains to be seen what benefits the parties can reap from this catch-em-young drive.
JANA SENA PREPARES FOR ONGOLE
One-goal or Ongole? For the Jana Sena in Andhra Pradesh, they both mean the same for now. The party which has been struggling to net prominent political leaders into its fold appears to have found a new love in the Ongole constituency in Prakasam district, as can be seen by the party going soft on former minister and Ongole MLA Balineni Srinivasa Reddy, who recently resigned as the YSRC’s in-charge for Chittoor, Nellore, and Kadapa districts, alleging that some YSRC leaders are attempting to destabilise him. Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan was quick to rebuke a leader from his party who recently alleged that Balineni is involved in money laundering and other financial scams. The same approach has been taken by Nadendla Manohar, Jana Sena’s No. 2 who spoke about how TTD Chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy is allegedly engaging in unlawful activities in Ongole, but stayed silent on Balineni, leaving many in the Jana Sena from Ongole to wonder if the party doors are being opened for Balineni.
KARNATAKA WIN INFUSES CONFIDENCE AMONG SOME CONGRESS CADRES
The Congress’s thumping victory in Karnataka appears to have infused a bit of hope to the party in Andhra Pradesh too. The party, which more or less disappeared after the 2014 bifurcation of the state has seen some of the party cadres now display confidence that those out of favour in the TD, and the YSRC might be ready to jump ship. This is yet very early days but some Congress folks are seeing hope from party workers from the two parties joining the Congress in Amalapuram and P. Gannavaram areas. More are on the way, says Dr B.R. Ambedkar Konaseema District Congress Committee president Kamana Prabhakara Rao. Hope, clearly, is a vital requirement for survival in politics.
HEATWAVE CAUSES OFFICERS TO TURN TO BOOZE
The searing summer heat makes some woozy and apparently this is what led some employees of a Tahsildar office to get boozy in order to beat the heat. While their boss was on leave, and his immediate deputy out an errand to the district collector’s office, three employees decided to take the heat head on by downing a few pegs. The result was that one stripped off his clothes and began watching movies on his mobile phone while two others crashed out for a nice afternoon nap. Visitors to the office were visibly shocked and the word soon reached the higher ups who have promised to take appropriate action declaring that a good snooze after some booze while at work is definitely not their recommended way to beat the heat.
TD-YSRC DRAMA CONTINUES
What goes around comes around. So is the case right now in Andhra Pradesh politics. For long, the TD had been calling YSRC boss and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy the A1, as in Accused No. 1, in view of the various CBI cases filed against him. Then came the turn of TD AP state president K. Atchannaidu ending up as an A1 in various cases related to several scams. And now, with TD chief N. Chandrababu Naidu named as A1 by the AP CID police in the Amaravati land scam, things appear to have come a full circle. So much so that these folks have quietly stopped calling each other the A1. Afterall, one never knows which leader might just get tagged by law enforcement agencies as the "most wanted".