Celebrating their 21st anniversary, the TRS managed to snub some of its long-serving members and leaders

The TRS plenary held recently was a big affair, with some 3,000 select leaders, including elected MPs and members of the Assembly and Council in attendance. Celebrating their 21st anniversary, the TRS managed to snub some of its long-serving members and leaders, including a number of candidates who had once contested on behalf of the party. “All we wanted was an invitation to the party gala,” cried a few of these has-beens, “just so we could hold our heads high, tell our followers and people that we still matter.” Their pleas to the party bigwigs went unheard, these ‘contested candidates’, many with the TRS from its inception, bemoaned, particularly after explicitly informing the party that they would not attend the plenary at the HICC. Especially hurt were those who contested for MP, MLC and MLA seats. “Not even an invitation” is the question they’re now asking about the most. But a handful among this lot, using this as the perfect opportunity to extract their pound of flesh, are now pressing the TRS leadership to give them nominated posts that could last until the next government takes seat in the state. Sometimes, something is better than nothing!


A somewhat reluctant Vemireddy Prabhakar Reddy, the Rajya Sabha member from Andhra Pradesh, has been crowned as the YSRC’s Nellore district president by party president and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. Getting into the Rajya Sabha on account of being a successful businessman might be one thing, stitching up unity in the party’s district unit is a totally different battle, and so Vemireddy is believed to be in a tight spot thanks to his position. Being friends with everyone, and on the right side of all, as RS member and businessman may have not been hard but Vemireddy is now believed to be worried about taking sides with some, and dropping others, in Nellore, as would be required as the district party head. An incentive has been thrown in for Vemireddy — that of a district development board chairmanship with Cabinet rank, but the going is not expected to be easy for him in the months to come.


While making sexist comments is nothing new for several politicians, when such comments come from women legislators or political leaders it‘s quite surprising. Take the case of the recently minted minister in AP, R.K. Roja, or the TD AP women’s wing president Vangalapudi Anitha who both offered to send saris and bangles to leaders of the rival party. Roja wanted to send a sari and some bangles to TD chief N Chandrababu Naidu while Anitha wanted to do the same to YSRC supremo and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. Using a symbol of India’s most traditional women’s attire as an insult is probably taking things to a new low, given the day and age we live in. What’s worse is that when these insults come from strong women leaders like the ladies mentioned above. Sometimes leaders like these make it hard to understand why they indulge in sari politics, err… sorry politics.


While on the subject of sorry politics, quite a few MLAs in Andhra Pradesh from the YSRC are worried after cutting a sorry figure in performance ratings in surveys commissioned by the AP Chief Minister. Many ruling party MLAs barely made it past the passing grade scoring some 40 to 45 per cent marks for their performance on various parameters including their work in their constituencies. The YSRC road map for the 2024 elections might even be littered by those who ultimately may not muster the required grade to pass the minimum performance standard. For the record, the CM scored 65 per cent marks. The Chief Minister made it clear that if the graphs of the MLAs do not get better, they could well be denied the party ticket the next time around. The 2024 polls may still be a year-and-a-half away, but the survey scores have reportedly sent many ruling party MLAs back to their drawing boards, and rooms, to figure out how to make more friends and influence people.


While surveys might be giving sleepless nights to politicians in Andhra Pradesh, in Telangana, some appear to have decided that the service route is an easier option to political success. First there was the then Siddipet collector P. Venkatarami Reddy who with his loyalty to the government in Telangana made it to the Legislative Council as TRS MLC a day after resigning as IAS officer. Making similar moves is Hyderabad collector L. Sharman, who was conferred an IAS rank like his former Siddipet counterpart. According to the grapevine, Sharman is all set to join the TRS after his retirement this June, apparently after receiving assurances from the party leadership that he could have a political future as an MLA or an MP. Being in an office for the people, to being in an office of the people now appears to be just a hop, skip, and jump away for some officials in Telangana.


Inspector S. Ramesh from the Petbasheerabad police station was caught featured in several selfies of TRS leaders and workers at the TRS plenary at the HICC. One never knows who stands next to you when taking a selfie, even if you are a policeman trained to recognise individuals at the bat of an eyelid. Such has been the case with Ramesh, when pictures with Munnuru Ravi, accused in the case relating to the conspiracy to murder minister V. Srinivas Goud, were found making the rounds on social media platforms. Ravi, arrested and recently released on bail, made his way into the HICC, made it to a short distance from Goud, and to rub salt into these wounds took pictures standing next to Ramesh. Ravi had no invite to the plenary, but made it in miraculously. So what did the cop have to say for all this? Ramesh, on bandobust duty at HICC, explaned that he did not know it was Ravi standing next to him and taking pictures. Incidentally, Ramesh is the investigating officer for the Goud murder conspiracy case. On bandobust duty or not, tongues soon began to wag that this is one cop that would get busted soon after Ravi’s selfies with him began making the rounds.


There are some uncanny parallels between TRS supremo and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and his former political mate N. Chandrababu Naidu, the TD president. While TD leaders might beg to differ, the unmistakable fact is that KCR is playing by the playbook he once wrote for Naidu — be it Naidu’s penchant for following the ‘China, Singapore, Israel development models,’ or the famous ‘Vision 2020’ plan which many credit KCR with. A good plan’s political longevity can survive the test of time. So, when KCR talked about the ‘China, Singapore, Israel development models,’ or his changed approach to the Prime Minister, whom he had praised in the past, just as Naidu did as Chief Minister of AP from 2014 to 2019, the parallels were there to see for all. Flip flopping is after all the penchant for all politicians.

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