Neta Natter: KTR The Diplomat
IT and industry minister K.T. Rama Raos friendly gesture to Opposition MLAs in the Assembly on the opening day took everyone by surprise
Assembly polls in Telangana state are due for this year-end but the political atmosphere is already charged up — the mood and interactions are polarised, divided, bitterly and perpetually contested. BRS, Congress and BJP leaders are engaged in a fierce war of words on almost every issue. In such a context, IT and industry minister K.T. Rama Rao’s “friendly gesture” to Opposition MLAs in the Assembly on the opening day took everyone by surprise. Rama Rao was seen walking towards Opposition benches in the House, wishing them and engaging in a friendly conversation. Of special interest was his interactions with BJP MLA Etala Rajendar, now known to be the arch-rival of the BRS and a bete noire of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao. Interestingly, for the BRS, which has 104 MLAs in the House besides KTR, no other MLA dared to even look in the direction of Rajendar in the House, possibly fearing some backlash or admonition. But what normal legislators can’t dare to do, KTR, who is also the BRS working president, can. He went up to Rajendar, wished him and had a friendly chat with him for a few minutes. Rama Rao was seen in a jovial mood even while speaking to suspended BJP MLA T. Raja Singh, Dubbak MLA M. Raghunandan Rao, besides Congress MLAs Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and T. Jagga Reddy.
BRS MINISTER HELPS NONE
A senior BRS minister, who for long charmed people, is being called out not only by those in the corridors of power, or his own party, but amongst all influencer sections as a man who never helps anyone. “He is only a lena bank, not a dena bank,” the whisper around the power circles goes. He never hesitates to demand anything he wants from you, but when it comes to reciprocating, he has only excuses. And he is running out of them. “It is an old trick, all smiles and empty hands,” a leader close to him revealed. “It is a waste of time going to him for help, you will only get advice — a classic playout when someone has no desire to help you.” While power is a merry tune, karma has its own cruel jarring cacophonic plans.
NEW SECRETARIAT UP IN FLAMES
Was it a “fire mishap” or a “mock drill” at the new Telangana Secretariat complex just a few days before its inauguration? As soon as the news about the fire mishap broke, media and residents in nearby areas tried to rush to the spot to assess the situation. However, the government deployed hundreds of policemen around the Secretariat and prevented their entry into the premises. They were not even allowed to go near the Secretariat gates. Police officials tried to hush up the incident first saying it was a ‘mock drill’. It did not convince anyone as the dense smoke emerging in the area indicated that it was a fire mishap. Media and people wondered whether a mock drill would be conducted in an under-construction building at 3 am and whether a dozen fire tenders required to douse the fire ignited for the mock drill. Worse, would the police look so sheepishly guilty handing out a line like “it is a drill”. Even before the police account could set the narrative, however unconvincing, ruling party leaders told the media openly that it was a mishap but was under control.