No Middle Path
There is no middle path where TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao is concerned. After calling off his fast in 2009, KCR had expressed his faith in Congress president Sonia Gandhi and said she was like his "mother". Addressing a meeting at Indira Park in Hyderabad, KCR launched a full frontal attack on the Congress, with choicest abuse in his address to the gathering. "It was Jawaharlal Nehru who first deceived the people of Telangana by merging it with Andhra. Then it was under Indira Gandhi who got students involved in the 1969 agitation killed in police firing. And now, it's Sonia Gandhi who denies us justice by changing her word on statehood every other day. Three generations of the Nehru-Gandhi family have let us down constantly," he yelled in his characteristic T-lingo.
The TRS chief has dared all T-ministers and MPs to quit their seats and join the revolution for statehood. Hitting out at former state home minister K. Jana Reddy, KCR said the Congress leader clung to his position in the party even as people were "spitting at him". This is strange because Jana Reddy and KCR appeared to be the thickest of friends till recently.
What stunned many however was KCR's statement about the nation. "I thought our country was people's democracy but it is a useless nation," he said.
KCR even hit out at Congress MPs from Telangana saying they had failed their constituents. "Had I been in their place, I would have committed suicide a long time ago," the TRS supremo spat out.
Rajahmundry Congress MP Vundavalli Arun Kumar has lambasted KCR saying the TRS president and MP only has electoral gains in mind when he makes such speeches. "Instead of debate and discussion, KCR keeps exhorting people and politicians to violence. At least now, voters ought to wake up to the kind of man he is," opines Vundavalli.
Cardiologists, Smugglers, Politicians...
In a shocking incident, Anti-Corruption Bureau sleuths recently trapped well-known cardiologist Dr Seshagiri Rao demanding and taking a bribe from a supplier of stents. Dr Rao who is the Head of Cardiology in the state-run Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences demanded a bribe of Rs 1.6 lakh from a former MP Atmacharan Reddy who is a pacemaker and stent distributor. Reddy, who had previously supplied 16 stents to the NIMS cardiology department, was told to cough up a commission of Rs 10,000 for each stent. Reddy then complained to the ACB who laid a trap for the cardiologist. Dr Seshagiri Rao was caught red-handed and has been suspended. Speaking to this correspondent, a cardiac surgeon in a corporate hospital explains that NIMS has always been a hotbed of corruption in terms of medical supplies. "I know one cardiac surgeon at NIMS who simply sat at home and refused to operate till the patient's family coughed up a bribe," the doctor reveals.
In fact the joke in hospitals is that cardiologists, smugglers and politicians are all one and the same. They'd do anything for money. While many cardiac surgeons are dedicated and make do with the salaries paid to them, it is cardiac surgeons such as Dr Rao who put the saying "Doctors are equivalent to God" to shame. On an average, stents worth Rs 5 crore are used in the NIMS cardiology department. The state government, in order to plug loopholes in the Arogyasree scheme where several heart surgeries are performed, now insists on photographic evidence. So doctors at corporate and government hospitals are supposed to take photos of the stents or pacemakers they insert during surgery as evidence.
The old excuse that government doctors are not paid enough and therefore susceptible to corruption is also being bandied about in many groups. But this instance has come as a shock to many patients who line up outside Dr Rao's door for that miracle cure.
Lack of Leadership
YSR Congress leader Sharmila Reddy is said to have recovered from a knee surgery and is likely to start her padayatra again from the first week of February. The party badly needs a boost and could certainly do with the publicity that will emanate from the padayatra. Even press meets by leaders of YSR Congress primarily focus on the denial of bail to Jaganmohan Reddy and the injustices dealt to him. The only star other than Jagan is Sharmila and the longer he stays in jail, the more essential it becomes for Sharmila to keep the star power of the YSR family alive.
While almost every poll is predicting a sweep for YSR Congress in the forthcoming polls, one factor that plagues the party is lack of leadership. There are too many aspirants for Assembly and LS tickets right now. Every new entrant into the party boasts that Jagan anna has promised him or her a ticket. Jagan will have to juggle a lot of balls if his party were to have the right candidates in the 2014 polls. Meanwhile, TD president Chandrababu Naidu, who is nursing a diabetic foot, is taking a break for a couple of days in his padayatra.
From English to Telugu
In the aftermath of the World Telugu Conference, the Chief Minister's office has decided to circulate notes to various departments in Telugu. Till date, such notes were primarily in English. Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, whose own Telugu is nothing to write home about, might stumble through his own rules, snigger bureaucrats in the Secretariat. Another consequence of the World Telugu Conference is that Telugu will be introduced as a compulsory language in all schools from Classes I to X.