Among those accompanying ministers K.T. Rama Rao and T. Harish Rao were their Cabinet colleagues Sabitha Indra Reddy, Satyavathi Rathod, Errabelli Dayakar Rao and V. Srinivas Goud
It was the Sufi saint Nizamuddin Aulia who famously said Dilli door ast (Delhi is still far away) in the 14th century, following a warning from Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq to leave Delhi. The city, now the country’s capital, may have been a long distance away then for Ghiyasuddin waging a war in Bengal but for the BRS leaders from Telangana Delhi is but a couple of hours away. Just ask any of the ministers in the state Cabinet who have been put on what is now being called by many of them as "Delhi Duty". The past couple of weeks have seen many state ministers rush to Delhi to express solidarity with BRS MLC K. Kavitha, facing questioning from the ED in the Delhi liquor scam. Among those accompanying ministers K.T. Rama Rao and T. Harish Rao were their Cabinet colleagues Sabitha Indra Reddy, Satyavathi Rathod, Errabelli Dayakar Rao and V. Srinivas Goud. Then of course there were a slew of BRS MPs and legislators who landed in Delhi. The moral of the story for the BRS leaders is that when it comes to defending Kavitha, no distance is too great to travel.
SMART PHONES A LIABILITY FOR POLITICOS
Just be careful about what you say when you pick up that phone of yours. That is the unwritten directive that politicians, be they from the ruling party or the Opposition, are now strictly following in Adilabad district. The fear of the phone ringing has become very real with conversations being recorded from the other end and then finding their way to social media platforms, leaving the politicians, in several instances, embarrassed to say the least. The warning to be watchful during phone calls has also been since conveyed by the respective party leaderships, particularly as this is an election year and one word that is out of place can play havoc with poll prospects. Alarm bells began ringing when some conversations involving ruling leaders threatening contractors went viral and the situation has become such that even trusted lieutenants of many leaders can only speak with their bosses using secure apps.
CONGRESS STAR CAMPAIGNER MISSING
The absence of a "star campaigner" of the Congress in padayatras of Telangana Congress president A. Revanth Reddy, and the party’s leader in the Legislature Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka have set tongues wagging in the ever-democratic party. The Bhongir MP, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy’s absence in the two padayatras by party colleagues has even led to some in the party wondering what the role of a leader designated as a star campaigner is. This is just a "nuisance" post, some Congress leaders say just to placate a prickly pear in the party. It remains to be seen if Venkat Reddy, who has ploughed his own highway for long, will act his part as per his post of a star campaigner.
QUID PRO QUO — THE MANTRA FOR NEW JOINEES AT BRS
Spreading wings beyond the state’s borders — for the Bharat Rashtra Samithi, reinvented from the former TRS — is not necessarily an easy task, if party insiders’ murmurs are anything to go by. These are not the times like when the party was first formed, attracting leaders from the TD, party insiders say. What they are dealing with is getting leaders from other states to join the BRS, and their experience so far is preparing them for what might be in store in the months to come. The case in point is the BRS getting into its fold leaders in neighbouring Maharashtra from Nanded, Yavatmal and Chandrapur districts. It is pretty close to a quid pro quo, BRS leaders from here say, adding they are willing to join in return for an assurance of "help" for them to contest in the next elections.
DRAMA AT CONGRESS CONTINUES
Who gets to decide who will get the party ticket for contesting the elections? That has always been a big question for election hopefuls, particularly in the Congress with its "multilayered" candidate selection. So, when Md Azharuddin the other day said he wanted to contest from Kamareddy constituency, the erstwhile stronghold of senior party leader Mohammad Ali Shabbir, it was left for TPCC chief A. Revanth Reddy to quickly smooth some ruffled feathers by announcing that no decision will be taken on Kamareddy without the express inputs from Shabbir Ali. But Revanth’s comments irked MLA ticket aspirant Madanmohan Rao, an arch rival of Shabbir Ali, who quickly found fault with the TPCC chief’s remarks. If nothing, there is never a shortage of drama in our party, a Congress leader remarked at the brouhaha.
23 NOW A LUCKY NUMBER FOR TD?
What’s in a number? A lot, if you ask the jubilant TD leaders in Andhra Pradesh. Having been at the receiving end for long from the YSRC who more than once reminded that the TD was reduced to just 23 members in the Assembly, reminding that those results were declared on May 23, and this was the result of divine intervention and a lesson to the TD for poaching 23 of YSRC MLAs in TD’s first term in the reorganised Andhra Pradesh. Having lived with the "curse of 23" for long, it is now the TD’s turn to pay back the YSRC in the same coin after its candidate won an MLC seat, with 23 votes, with the result being declared on March 23, in the year 2023. Quick to point this out was TD leader and former minister Nara Lokesh, asking if the latest "23" turnaround was a result of divine intervention, this time working in the TD’s favour.
BJP LOSS IN AP SIGNALS REASSESSMENT
Things for the Andhra Pradesh BJP appear to get tougher by the day. And its MLC candidate for the North Andhra graduates constituency P.V.N. Madhav losing the election has come as a wake-up call, if not a jolt to the party. Madhav not only lost the deposit but polled 2,000 votes less than the invalid votes. Quick to find an excuse, Madhav promptly blamed the Jana Sena for not cooperating with him at the ground level. Also brought into play as a reason for the loss for the apparent cozying up of the YSRC with the BJP — what with Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi — as confusing voters. Quick to the cut, the BJP leaders have held Madhav responsible for the loss declaring that the candidate failed to make connections with the voters. Madhav, the BJP leaders say, never really mingled with people and that cost him the election now. For the BJP in AP, this is turning out into a classic case of a victory having many fathers but defeat ending up as an orphan.
MANCHU FAMILY AND ITS DIVERSE POLITICAL CONNECTIONS
Tollywood actor Manchu Manoj, the younger son of veteran actor and former MP Manchu Mohan Babu, who married Bhuma Mounika Reddy from the politically powerful Bhuma family of Allagadda in Nandyal district, is apparently in a fix. The reason? Mounika has political ambitions that were made clear to Manoj before the wedding, but the problem, insiders say, is the possible resistance from her in-laws who are closely related to the YSRC chief and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. Mounika campaigned for her sister Akhila, who contested on a TD ticket in the last elections, whereas Mohan Babu was associated with the TD from its formation in 1982 but parted ways with it to join the YSRC in 2019. Manoj’s elder brother Vishnu, also an actor, is married to Jagan’s first cousin Veronica. Akhila is interested in contesting from Allagadda and Manoj is all for it, but the question on everyone’s mind is if the Manchu family politics will come in the way of the political ambitions of the latest entrant into its family fold.