Vayalar Ravi was all praise for Chiranjeevi and named him as a "top leader of the Congress party, not just at the state but also at the national level"...
Top Leader of the Congress
It was a busy week for Congresspersons as AICC leader Vayalar Ravi visited Hyderabad to take stock of party affairs. Squabbling party leaders rushed to Vayalar Ravi with requests and complaints and were granted a patient hearing. He met with MPs, MLAs, ministers and several other party members. Vayalar Ravi refuted reports that there were any differences between CM Kiran Kumar Reddy and PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana and said that the two were discharging their respective duties. However, the man who managed to steal the thunder was Chiranjeevi who hosted a breakfast meeting at his residence for Vayalar Ravi. The AICC leader was all praise for Chiranjeevi and named him as a "top leader of the Congress party, not just at the state but also at the national level". The former PRP leader has not stopped beaming ever since and has been telling scribes that this is an indication of the "respect" UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has for him. Chiranjeevi has informally been telling mediapersons that Vayalar Ravi has asked him to consider donning the greasepaint again. The Congress apparently feels that if a Chiranjeevi movie were to hit the silver screen again, it would lift the sagging image of the party. The actor-turned-politician is said to be considering the advice and is likely to take up the offer as soon as a good script comes his way. Vayalar Ravi has seemingly advised Chiranjeevi that instead of taking up prolonged yatras a la Jagan, it would make better sense to star in a film with a social message.
Sins of the Son...
Union Minister for Tribal Welfare Kishore Chandra Deo is a politician who does not give up a fight easily. In a 14-page letter to Governor E S L Narasimhan, Deo has asked the latter to cancel bauxite mining leases granted to Jindal South West Mining Ltd and AnRAK Aluminum Ltd (a joint venture between Penna group and Ras-al-Khaimah Investment Authority) in Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts. In a hard-hitting letter, K C Deo says the late CM Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy had violated constitutional provisions and betrayed the tribals in the region. The minister says Maoists have regained support of the tribals owing to the bauxite mining issue. "Inflows to the Gosthani, Champavati and Sarada rivers will be affected by mining. There is severe unrest and insecurity among the tribals owing to these mining leases," Deo writes in the detailed letter. "It is the duty of the government to protect natural resources. How could Rajasekhar Reddy grant mining rights in an ecologically fragile area to private parties," asks Deo. The union minister has asked Narasimhan to use his special powers as governor to cancel the mining leases. Deo is an MP from Araku in Visakhapatnam district and his constituency will be majorly affected should bauxite mining actually begin and aluminium refineries start functioning. While the minister has spoken out against bauxite mining several times earlier, this is the first time Deo has launched a full-fledged attack on YSR. The Congress high command has recently instructed its leaders in the state to not hesitate in taking on YSR's flawed policies while attacking his son and YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy.
Stylish batsman VVS Laxman who has been dumped by home IPL team Deccan Chargers spent some time serving pilgrims at Tirumala recently. The Hyderabadi cricketer donned the 'Srivari Sevak' avatar and served rice and curries to visiting pilgrims at the Lord Venkateswara temple. The pleasantly surprised visitors lapped up the delicacies served by Laxman just as they do his boundaries.
Laxman visited the famous temple with his family and was spotted with a shaven head. In this edition of IPL, Laxman was rejected not just by Deccan Chargers but all other franchises which refused to bid for him. Even in last year’s IPL, Laxman was sitting on the bench most of the time. The interesting bit, however, is that Deccan Chargers has not exactly performed well even without Laxman, losing its first five matches.
'Traitor, Backstabber, Blackmailer...'
PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana's constituency Vizianagaram turned into a battleground with TD president Chandrababu Naidu's recent dharna in the town. The Telugu Desam intends to highlight the politician-liquor mafia nexus in Vizianagaram following the recent ACB revelations that 103 liquor licences are with white ration card holders. The TD alleges that several licences are linked to Botsa and sees the dharna as a plank to gain currency in Vizianagaram which is a stronghold of the Botsa family. When Naidu was denied permission to hold the rally at the collectorate, he lashed out at the government wondering if Vizianagaram was Pakistan and he needed a visa to visit the town. Naidu termed Botsa as a ganja plant that was destroying a pristine tulsivanam like Vizianagaram. Botsa, in turn, has criticized Naidu for comparing a peaceful place like Vizianagaram to Pakistan. "Naidu is dreaming of becoming Chief Minister but after the polls, he will not even have the status of an opposition leader," lashed out Botsa. Among many other adjectives Botsa has used to describe Naidu are "traitor, backstabber and blackmailer".
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's lessons in public relations seem to have worked well and CM Kiran Kumar Reddy's personality has undergone a sea change. He is now more willing to interact with people, shake hands, crack jokes and even jump barricades. After inaugurating an RTO office near Tirupati recently, Kiran Kumar asked officials to provide him with a two-wheeler which he proceeded to ride on the test track as surprised ministers and MLAs watched. Joining him on the pillion was Congress' newest poster boy, Chiranjeevi. Wonder if this new dosti will pay off dividends at the upcoming hustings for the Congress.