Saturday, October 22, 2011

Naidu’s Congress connection

Naidu’s Congress connection

While politicians and bureaucrats might differ on various issues raised in the affidavit against Telugu Desam chief N. Chandrababu Naidu filed by Kadapa MP Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s mother Vijayamma, all of them seem to agree with her allegation that Naidu held stakes in Kakinada Sea Ports Limited. He had doled out several favours to the operator when he was chief minister and had maintained a stoic silence when YSR had extended some more favours at the cost of the exchequer. The TD also did not include KSPL in the list of quid pro quo companies in its affidavit in Jagan’s case, though the company later came under the CBI scanner. If Vijayamma is proved correct, it would mean that the TD boss was a business partner of a powerful Congress MP who ruled the roost during the YSR regime.

Pesky calls in Desam
“Please deregister your mobile to get uninterrupted messages.” This was not a request from some telemarketing company but the Telugu Desam. With the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India coming down heavily on pesky calls thanks to the upgraded “National Do Not Call Registry” and limiting the number of SMS per day, political parties are hit hard. The Telugu Desam thus has been sending emails to all party leaders, well-wishers, workers and journalists to deregister themselves from the NDNC registry as the TD leadership was unable to reach them through SMS following the new restrictions. The main Opposition has in fact gone a step forward to inform those on its mailing list how to deregister from the registry. “Send a message from your mobile: STOP 0 to 1909. You will be deregistered within 10 days”. Thus, those who had already registered with the NDNC registry for relief from pesky calls and messages are now left with no option but to de-register themselves to stay “in touch” with the TD state leadership.


T talk with KK, Jana
Rajya Sabha member K. Kesava Rao and panchayati raj minister K. Jana Reddy are tough people to interview. Even TV reporters, who are always on the lookout for quotes, give the duo a wide berth. It’s not that the politicians refuse to talk to the media; they do so extensively but no one seems to understand what they are talking about. Rao and Reddy always seem to confuse the issue and except for reiterating their oft-repeated commitment on Telangana, they never reveal anything new. During a recent press conference telecast live on all Telugu news channels, the duo spoke for an hour. The next day, however, they realised that they had not been able to get the matter across to the members of the press lucidly enough, so they called another press conference to clarify the matter. Unfortunately, the result was pretty much the same and reporters at the end of the conference still had no clue what the politicians had tried to convey.

The me syndrome
The list of people claiming kudos for convincing the Telangana APSRTC workers to call off their strike seems to be endless. Starting from Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who boasted that his diplomatic skills helped restore normalcy in the crucial transport sector, the latest addition to the list is Director General of Police V. Dinesh Reddy. There are reports that the police boss, who had headed RTC earlier, used his rapport with the striking unions and made them call off the agitation. Transport minister Botsa Satyanarayana, on the other hand, is crying foul over the media not giving him due credit as he says that it was his efforts that ended the stir.

Balu finds favour with Kiran
It seems that Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has had a change of heart regarding senior bureaucrat S. Balasubrahmanyam. The CM has agreed to give the babu the important post of Commissioner of Technical Education. It was common knowledge that Kiran cared little for Balu (as the bureaucrat in known) who was the blue-eyed boy of ex-CM N. Chandrababu Naidu. He had even brought pressure on YSR, when the latter was CM, to fix Balu in the infamous Kuppam Israel technology scam and initiate action. However, according to the grapevine, Balu was brought back in favour because Kiran could not say no to Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Raja Narasimha who recommended Balu for the post.

VIP security un-covered
For a change, some Congress and TRS MPs and MLAs will be moving around without their gunmen. While the politicians were already upset with the high-handed behaviour of the police during the rail roko programme and the government’s harsh action, the statement of the Police Officers’ Association added insult to injury. The statement of the Association leader Chalapathi Rao that politicians could not move freely even for a minute without gunmen came in for some sharp criticism. “I have returned my four gunmen. We are public servants and we can move around freely. Due to a threat perception, the government had recommended the gunmen,” says Congress MP Manda Jagannadham. Congress MPs Ponnam Prabhakar and Rajaiah and TRS MLA K.T. Rama Rao also criticised CM N. Kiran Kumar Reddy for letting the police loose on them. “We don’t want gunmen,” fumes Ponnam Prabhakar. Though the Association leader clarified that his comments were not intended against them but only against those who had launched a verbal attack on DGP V. Dinesh Reddy, it hasn’t smoothened the ruffled feathers.