The setting of fire to the minister’s house wasn’t the only act of arson

Andhra Pradesh minister P. Viswaroop’s house in Amalapuram was set on fire the other day by arsonists, protesting against renaming the district after Dr B.R. Ambedkar. Even before the embers stopped smoking, the minister made the announcement that a YSRC councillor, Anyam Sai, was the primary culprit behind the act. Spotting a political opportunity to embarrass the YSRC following the minister’s revelation, the opposition Telugu Desam and the Jana Sena (who have been more or less running on fumes in the state) immediately sought to fan the flames blaming the YSRC for the violence. The setting of fire to the minister’s house wasn’t the only act of arson. The district collectorate, the house of YSRC MLA P. Satish, and a handful of buses were also set on fire, not to mention the stoning by protesters that led to some police personnel getting injured.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if the fire lit by the minister, who accused his own party leader as the main culprit, will peter out quietly or if the TD and the Jana Sena can make something out of it before this opportunity turns into ashes for them.


After getting a second term in the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s Cabinet, AP minister Ch. Srinivasa Venugopala Krishna has been under fire from various quarters, first for saying journalists should worship the Chief Minister if they wanted freebies from the government and then facing a blowback from journalist unions for his comment. Then came the incident of his prostrating before TTD chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy at a condolence meeting. Though he clarified later that it was an act of gratitude towards the Chief Minister and the TTD chairman for their efforts to uplift the Setti Balija community to which he belonged, he was told by political leaders that he would do better if he instead showed devotion to his voters. The word going around is that not everyone in the Setti Balija community is happy with the minister’s actions and see it as mortgaging the community’s honour at the feet of others. Scribes, however, are getting their revenge on the minister, saying that he should seriously rethink his “thanksgiving” methods.


A meeting between AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and Telangana’s IT and industries minister K.T. Rama Rao on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at Davos has raised a lot of eyebrows. The bonhomie witnessed in their photographs and the comments that were Tweeted left many wondering if all that was exchanged were pleasantries, or if the two leaders also used the opportunity to discuss issues related to the two Telugu states. Also sending some tongues wagging, at least initially, was the presence of Telugu Desam MP Galla Jayadev at the World Economic Forum. Opposition leaders do not usually accompany heads of government to Davos. In the past too, when then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu attended the WEF summit as head of the AP state government, none from the Opposition participated in the summits. This hullabaloo over Jayadev’s presence at the WEF was quickly put to rest, as folks realised that he was there in his capacity as a top industrialist and head of the Amara Raja Group of Companies.


Telangana state Congress chieftain A. Revanth Reddy, veteran to several controversies, found himself in a tricky spot yet again, after a meeting in Sedam, Karnataka, where he addressed a Reddy community meet. He exhorted Reddys to stand with each other, citing examples of the Kakatiya empire which suffered after Reddy kings began depending on the Padmanayakas (Velamas). Revanth received flak aplenty for his comments, including from within the Congress. Equally adept at dousing fires, the eloquent Revanth said the Reddy community was known for its sacrifices, and the only prominent leaders who fought for the people was a Reddy. Eventually, the onus of capping this controversy fell on TPCC Telangana state in-charge Manickam Tagore, who reminded party leaders to stick to the directives given by Rahul Gandhi and not stir controversies.

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