Out, Damned Spot!
Soon after Ashwani Kumar and Pawan Kumar Bansal got the boot from the rail and law ministries at the centre, the chorus for the resignations of tainted ministers in the Kiran Kumar cabinet is growing. Roads and buildings minister Dharmana Prasada Rao and home minister Sabitha Indra Reddy have both been named as accused by the CBI in the Jagan illegal assets case but continue in the office. Of course, the usual drama was enacted. Of them putting in their papers and sulking at home. But the catch here is that the Chief Minister never accepted their resignations. The files in the home ministry have been gathering dust while Sabitha Reddy plays the pained martyr. And the same is the case with Dharmana Prasada Rao. Kiran Kumar Reddy has been suggesting to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi that the ministers be dropped from his cabinet so that the party can go to the 2014 polls with a clean image. This would be the only way to beat the sympathy wave which the YSR Congress is generating since its inception.
At a recent wedding function, both Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu and Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy were invited. Since both of them arrived almost at the same time, it was a tricky situation. Naidu proceeded to the stage first to greet the wedded couple and as he was exiting, Kiran Kumar came in from another direction. Such was the synchronisation that protocol organisers were left beaming while many among the crowd did their best to capture both leaders at the same time on their smartphone cameras.
In the Flesh
It is the season of marriages. Thanks to several celebrity weddings in Hyderabad, traffic is thrown out of gear whenever any VIP is on his or her way to attend a shaadi. Owing to the Metro Rail works, people are already facing various hassles on the roads of Secunderabad and Hyderabad. So the VIP vehicle clutter in the 43 degrees heat is unwelcome. There is one advantage though. Finally, the aam aadmi is getting a peep of his politician in the flesh and blood. Most of the time, they are seen only in TV studios spitting fire at each other.
Talk is that Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy who recently acquired a Telugu TV channel through some associates is going all out to promote himself. He has roped in some senior journalists from the English media to head the channel and is keeping a close eye on its functioning. Journalists from various media houses are being invited for its morning talk show. The mantra is simple. Sing praises of Kiran Kumar and you'll be given more screen space. Hasn't the CM heard of good old Doordarshan, one wonders.
Open Your Mouth...
Actor and union minister Chiranjeevi's son Ram Charan Tej who recently got his security men to bash up two software professionals in a road brawl called for a press meet to clear the air. But he's ended up with more egg on his face. He claimed that photos published in some newspapers showing him watching as security guards acted like goondas, were morphed. While initially claiming that he knew nothing about the two Genpact employees, Ram Charan said he would not file a police complaint because he did not want to "harm their careers". "One of them is planning to go abroad. He will face a problem with his visa if I file a police complaint," said the actor issuing a veiled threat. "I request 'human resources' not to take any further action because I am not in the wrong," said Ram Charan. Err, what he perhaps meant was the Human Rights Commission. But then it's only human to make mistakes. Right sir? Without scripts, both Chiranjeevi and son Ram Charan ended up with garbled dialogues which perhaps only the aliens can understand. Meanwhile, 33-year-old Phanish Adivi who was bashed up and abused says he has decided not to file a complaint against the actor. Phanish says an ordinary, middle-class citizen like him could not take on the might of a superstar whose dad is Chiranjeevi. There have been demands to scrap Ram Charan, a.k.a Cherry, from commercials of various brands he endorses, leading to a joke doing the rounds on SMS:
" Getting out of the car?"
" No, Papa"
" Telling lies?"
" No, papa"
" Look at the visuals..."
" Ha ha ha."
Another One Bites the Dust
Chandrababu Naidu received another jolt when senior party leader from Warangal quit citing the Telugu Desam's inaction on Telangana-statehood as the main cause. Srihari, who has been with the TDP for 30 years, says Naidu is surrounded by vested business interests and industrialists and has lost the plot. Srihari is all set to join the TRS though the BJP has also been wooing him. TRS MLA K T Rama Rao paid Srihari a visit as soon as he resigned from the TDP. "I met him and invited him to join the TRS," says Rama Rao. Talk is that the TRS is likely to offer him a Lok Sabha ticket for the coming elections. Meanwhile, the TDP is dismissing his departure terming it misguided.
Nawabs on the Hills
Officials of the Income Tax Department say that several Hyderabadis in the Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills area are avoiding paying tax. This is where the cream of the nawabi city live. During some 19 surveys which were conducted in these areas, Rs 85 crore of undisclosed income was collected, reveals Suresh Jandhyala, chief commissioner of Income Tax, AP III.
The daughter of Vijay Sai Reddy is getting married on May 26. Intelligence officials are keeping a close watch on the high-profile wedding to see who would be attending. Vijay Sai Reddy is accused No.2 in the Jagan illegal assets case and is currently out on bail. The Supreme Court, while recently dismissing a bail petition of Jagan's, had questioned why Vijay Sai Reddy could be given bail. Hence, as soon as his daughter's marriage is over, VS Reddy is most likely to join accused No 1 Jagan in Chanchalguda jail.