The brouhaha over the allotment of a chamber for the Leader of the Opposition in the Telangana state Assembly was something that turned into something the BRS opposed with some gusto. After all, it is BRS president and former chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, who is the Leader of Opposition, and giving him a small room, that too in the outer lobbies of the Assembly building was nothing short of a huge insult, they said. For many years, the LoP’s chamber was in the inner lobby that is out of bounds for all except legislators and Assembly staff. While the BRS folks had their hackles raised on this, some Congress leaders took a well-aimed pot-shot at KCR — saying for nearly a decade he was never accessible to people and now that his chamber was in the outer lobby, he would hopefully be accessible to all. The new LoP chamber has acquired a sort of celebrity status with visitors taking selfies standing in front of the room.
NTR AND HIS BHARAT RATNA — THE BATTLE CONTINUES
Amidst the announcement of the Bharat Ratna awards, the question doing the rounds in the Telugu Desam is the absence of party founder and former chief minister of unified AP N.T. Rama Rao. For years, the TD, as well as other parties in what are now two Telugu states had been making the case that NTR, for his contributions to Indian politics, and single handedly elevating Telugus into a formidable national political force, deserved the Bharat Ratna. But now, the TD, apparently finds itself in a tough spot. It wants the award for NTR but does not want his wife, Lakshmi Parvathi, to be the one to receive it if it is announced. After all, TD chief N. Chandrababu Naidu and members of NTR’s first family are in a constant state of war with Lakshmi Parvathi. And so the word going around is that such being the case, the TD is not too keen to pursue NTR’s case for the Bharat Ratna with the Central government, at least for the time being.
MLC GETS RED CARPET AT OU, APPREHENSIVELY
The recent elevation of a young NSUI leader as an MLC has had some unintended consequences. Venkat Balmoor was never one to shy away from an issue and his umpteen activities as a student leader are proof enough. But his new status as an MLC has apparently rankled someone pretty high up the Osmania University totem pole, what with the multiple run-ins with Venkat that this person has had over the years. Apparently, not too far in the recent past, the now young Congress MLC had sent a ‘gift’ of bangles, turmeric etc., to this OU honcho, apparently taunting this person to man up and take action on some issues. Typically seen as an insult when a man is gifted bangles, the man in OU is not very happy at Venkat’s elevation as an MLC. But then, there is nothing much he can do, and a little birdie tells us that he has been venting his frustration that he now has no option but to treat Venkat respectfully when he next visits the campus.
FAKE PICS MAKE TROUBLE FOR TD
With AP all set to go to the polls soon, rumour-mongers are ruling the roost and causing trouble to all major political parties. What’s true and what’s not is quickly turning into a matter of debate depending on which side of the political spectrum one is in Andhra Pradesh. Recently, a photograph showing TD supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu touching the feet of Union home minister Amit Shah during a recent visit to Delhi to meet top BJP leaders to discuss TD and Jana Sena’s alliance with the BJP, and TD plans to join the NDA, has been doing the rounds. This is all fake, TD leader K. Atchannaidu quickly declared, worried that a narrative that Naidu had placed Telugu pride at BJP’s feet would quickly gain ground. Fake, the picture may be, it did catch the eyes of the voters of AP.
ROJA’S MEALS BACK IN THE NEWS
There is nothing quite like a good meal and a pleasant conversation. For leaders and representatives getting invites to AP minister R.K. Roja’s residence for lunch meetings as the YRSC MLA from Nagari faces the mounting task of getting the party ticket again for the coming elections, the lunches are apparently quite enjoyable while the conversations apparently are all about Roja seeking their support. Among those who had this experience so far are leaders from the local Balija Sangham, who extracted an assurance from her that she will rebuild their community hall near a prominent local Shiva temple. Roja also recently met with Kshatriya leaders from Vijayapuram mandal, recalled her past support to them, and she apparently also reached out to leaders from the Brahmin community, and the Mudaliars, who made it clear that unless their traditional powerloom work is supported, they may not be able to give her any assurance of support.
WASHERMEN MADE TO SIT ON FLOOR
YSRC Banaganapalle MLA Katasani Ramireddy is getting a washing down of sorts, ever since he held a meeting with members of the Rajaka community recently at Kolimigundla in Nandyal district. The problem started with the attending members from the washermen community made to sit on the floor, despite available chairs, while the VIPs were comfortably seated in chairs on the dais. The event was the laying of foundation stones for the new dhobi ghats, but the fact that those for whom the new facilities were being built, were ‘shown their place’ so to speak and made to sit on the floor didn’t go amiss. This has not gone down well, and Ramireddy is getting some dressing down on social media for allowing this to happen.