Coracias benghalensis? Does that ring a bell? What about ‘palapitta’? That certainly strikes a chord, at least during the Dasara festival — as a harbinger of good luck to those who manage to spot it on the festival day. The Indian roller, or palapitta, the state bird of Telangana (scientific name Coracias benghalensis) was much in demand on Dasara and in the run-up to the festival with BRS leaders comparing Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao favourably with the bird. BRS leaders told folks they addressed at meetings during Dasara that KCR was the ‘Neelkanth’ for the people as he brought good luck and prosperity. Just as you want to see the Indian roller on Dasara, elect KCR again for more good luck and prosperity, was the message. A signal that made everyone take note and agree unanimously.


When you can’t spit it out, then swallow it. That is the situation many BJP leaders have found themselves in, with the party slowly releasing names of its candidates for the Telangana state Assembly elections. Some aspirants who “applied” for tickets — during the week-long “we will take applications from anyone” phase — are disappointed but continuing with the party’s tradition of believing that loyalty brings rewards at some point of time. Others like Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy have quit the party saying the BJP has lost its mojo in Telangana state and can’t bring down KCR and the BRS. Patience, some in the BJP hope, will pay, but they just don’t know when.


When the hero enters the scene, expect fireworks. While that might hold true for the on-screen personas of actors, Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan’s talks with the BJP in Telangana state on seat-sharing have set off some angry reactions in the BJP with some leaders protesting that their chances are being stymied with the tie-up with the Jana Sena. The BJP on its part, wants to play smart and have Pawan Kalyan take up the responsibility of wooing voters whose families originally hail from Andhra Pradesh, particularly in one district bordering the other Telugu state, something that has set off alarm bells ringing within the BJP ranks from that district. That is the reason the BJP’s second list had just one name, that of former MP A.P. Jithender Reddy’s son Mithun Reddy.


How does one keep people away from booze? Either ban liquor or, if one were to follow Andhra Pradesh’s minister Botsa Satyanarayana’s plan — hike prices. The other day Botsa was quick in answering a question about why his party’s government did not implement the liquor ban that it had promised in its manifesto during the last elections. Liquor price hikes, Botsa claimed, were as good as a ban as the idea was to discourage the poor from buying more of it. Apparently, the price hike is part of a phase-wise programme of discouragement of liquor consumption. Meanwhile, excise officials say that the cash registers are ringing louder these days getting more moolah for the state from liquor sales.


In politics, sometimes it is best to take what comes your way. That is the reality that BRS MLA Rekha Naik and her husband Shyam Naik came to accept after she quit the ruling party because she was denied the party ticket from her Khanapur (ST) constituency and then joined the Congress along with her husband. Both hoped that they will get Congress tickets, she from Khanapur and he from Asifabad (ST). But the Congress announced that Shyam Naik would get the ticket from Asifabad. And so the family settled for one instead of two. Clearly, for the Naik family, this has turned out to be a case of one in the hand being worth two in the bush.


Ask any cop, and he will say he is not that bad when it comes to wielding the stick. But, in the case of M. Ambika Prasad, DSP from Amalapuram in Andhra Pradesh, a good stick in hand is not just for wielding it when needed but to show off some real skills in ‘karrasamu’. During the recent Ayudha Puja, Prasad displayed his skills in this traditional martial art, using a stick to ward off, or maybe even deal a good blow or two to an opponent. The sight of the cop displaying his expertise got the crowds enthralled. This is one cop the baddies may want to stay away from probably.

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