For a long time now, there were restrictions on the entry of opposition leaders to Pragati Bhavan, the official residence of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao. An unsaid rule ensured that most of them were more or less banned from entering the complex. But now, even ruling BRS party leaders are said to be facing restrictions, with security personnel not allowing them to enter Pragathi Bhavan easily. Apparently, they are being told to meet the CM at the new Secretariat as he is working from there almost every day. With Assembly polls nearing, the ruling party MLAs and other competing aspirants are vying to meet KCR with the hope of getting some assurance on their political future and careers. BRS leaders say it is also not possible to get an appointment with the CM in the new Secretariat, and even if they get one, the CM is usually surrounded by a host of ministers, officers and others in his chambers, leaving no scope for discussion of private and confidential issues.


As the last match of the IPL in Hyderabad for the year kicked off, there was a mad scramble for tickets, many of which were purchased in black with several lucky ones making a dash for VIP passes as well. Several such VIP pass holders who made it through the security checks and reached their boxes on the first floor were in for a shock —a diktat by the Rachakonda Police Commissionerate D.S. Chauhan! People with passes for box F6 were told that the box was off limits despite having a bona fide entrance token. The reason given by the officers was that the “Commissioner sir is having a meeting inside the box”. As a result, none of the people were allowed and they were told to enter any other box and find a seat for themselves. The meeting lasted the full course of the match, of course which led to some seriously disgruntled big spenders.


A selfie with a chief minister is a wonderful thing to be cherished, displayed and flaunted. But if you can’t get a selfie, the next best thing is a picture with the CM, as seen by a recent flood of requests to Telangana state Chief Minister’s office from officials for photographs with Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao in the sprawling green lawns of the new Secretariat with the grandiose new building as the backdrop. Following the building’s inauguration on April 30, the CMO received several requests from IAS, IPS and other senior officers looking for these official portraits, but these requests have been kept pending as individual photographs would not really be possible. Finally, after a recent meeting convened by KCR with all district collectors and SPs, the CMO obliged their request and agreed for a group photo session with the CM. Officers are obviously elated to have pictures along with CM with the new Secretariat in the background. “What about us?” was the immediate question raised by some ministers, and the word doing the rounds is that they too will get a similar opportunity soon if they play their cards right.


Political “parachutists” are the subject of much political gossip these days in Adilabad district’s Congress, with long-timers in the party not particularly happy with newcomers jumping into the fray so last minute. Such people are dropping in and expecting to get party tickets for the upcoming Assembly elections, something that is riling up existing party leaders. Slowly, but surely, the opposition is building up against individuals, well-stacked with resources, joining the party and wanting to be instant leaders. Senior Congress leaders are unable to digest the entry of some NRIs, who they are calling parachute politicians. Long-time Congress leaders in the district are making a case in point about NRI Kandi Srinivas Reddy, who claims strong affiliation with the RSS, who recently joined the Congress from the BJP. It is not just outsiders that leaders are worried about. There are also some local parachute politicos, as in case of Bhukya Johnson Naik, a native of Metpalli of Jagtial district, wanting to call the shots in Khanapur. Will internal opposition to such leaders stop their entry? Not sure, some say, but this issue is not something that is going to die down any time soon.


There was a time when TD leader Nara Lokesh was derided by his political opponents for his gaffes during public addresses but that has not deterred him from becoming better and hitting back at his detractors. During his 40-day padayatra in Kurnool and Nandyal districts, right from the start of his yatra, Lokesh took it upon himself to give new nicknames to local legislators and prominent leaders from the ruling YSRC. Among those employed by Lokesh were “Vishanagu” Balanagu, “Corruption” Rambhupal, “Sticker” Sridevi, “Benz Minister” Jayaram, “Commissions” Ramireddy, “Cheating” Chakrapani, and “Youtube Star”. But his barbs did not go unnoticed and those at the receiving end fell back on their tried and tested name calling of Lokesh, referring to him as “Loafer” Lokesh and “Pappu” Lokesh. From all indications, this name calling war has only just started.


Taking to Twitter to respond to complaints and feedback from citizens is something most politicians do, but officials too are now resorting to this. Normally, policy decisions are announced by IT and MA&UD minister K.T. Rama Rao, but recently an IAS officer replied to a post about protecting Jail Khana, a heritage building in Monda Market promising to protect the building. A citizen pointed out that it’s all fine to respond to such requests on heritage structures but then asked the IAS officer about taking care and attending to more common civic problems by doing something about the bad roads, disappearing footpaths, and overflowing drains, further complaining that his pleas were not being addressed at all. Ducking from responsibility is no longer an easy task for babus active on social media, which comes with its own pros and cons.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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