Over the Moon, located in Daspalla Hotel, is one of Hyderabad's most happening pubs. Frequented by several from the film fraternity and socialites, the pub is the place to be spotted at during weekends. It is now the scene of a controversy. Union minister of state for tourism Chiranjeevi's nephew, Allu Venkat, was involved in a brawl at the pub. Venkat and his friends reportedly assaulted a female videographer for filming them and then threatened to break her legs as well. Allu Venkat is the older brother of popular Tollywood actor Allu Arjun whose movie Iddaru Ammayalatho released recently. Venkat denies getting into a brawl with the videographer, saying she had gotten into a fight with another group. Chiranjeevi's actor son Ram Charan Tej was recently involved in a road rage incident. His bodyguards roughed up a couple of software techies whose humble Maruti was obstructing Ram Charan's Aston Martin as he came out of the Taj Krishna hotel. The techies did not file a police complaint but the incident was widely covered in the media. Ram Charan took a similar line pleading innocence. Looks like Chiranjeevi needs to sit his family members down and give them a lesson in public etiquette and anger management.
If you have heard of the saying, saanp bhi mar jaaye aur lathi bhi na toote [Literally, the snake gets killed and the stick too remains unbroken], Speaker Nadendla Manohar has achieved the very same. By disqualifying 15 rebel MLAs, nine from the Congress and six from Telugu Desam, the Speaker has ensured that the Congress sits pretty even as the effective strength of the Assembly has come down from 294 to 278. And the Congress thus still retains a majority in the Assembly with 146 seats. And since it is only about 10 months before the general elections, there will be no by- polls to these seats. In other words, a win-win situation for the Congress. During a no-confidence motion moved by the TRS and YSR Congress in the last Assembly session, 18 MLAs from Congress and TDP had voted against the Kiran Kumar Reddy government. At the time, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu had refused to support the no-trust vote saying he had no intention to support the TRS and YSR Congress. But nine MLAs from the Telugu Desam defied the party whip. Three TDP MLAs have been spared because the party was unable to prove that these men had violated the party whip. Unhappy with this, Telugu Desam leader Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy wonders why action wasn't taken against them as well. Some of these MLAs are joining the TRS and the rest, YSR Congress. The Telugu Desam wants a legislation to be brought in to immediately disqualify MLAs who defy the party whip.
The BJP might be struggling to cope with the tsunami unleashed by L K Advani's resignation but Modi's elevation has raised hopes for the party in Andhra Pradesh. Particularly in Telangana. BJP state president and Amberpet MLA G Kishan Reddy says it bodes well for the party. "Surveys by TV channels and media groups in Telangana show that 67-70% of those surveyed want Narendra Modi as Prime Minister. They believe Modi is the man who will deliver Telangana statehood," Kishan Reddy tells Outlook. The BJP hopes to improve its tally from three seats to at least 10 by cashing in on Modi's popular appeal, say party leaders. Modi is expected to address a meeting in Hyderabad in July. "It is not just about MLAs or MPs but the enthusiasm among party cadre which is important," says Kishan Reddy. And the State BJP chief believes that Modi will pour the much required zeal into the veins of party workers.
After sacking detractor DL Ravindra Reddy from his cabinet, Kiran Kumar Reddy has gone further on the offensive. He has made major industries minister Geetha Reddy in-charge of home portfolio. The home ministry berth fell vacant after Sabitha Indra Reddy's resignation who has been named by the CBI as an accused in the Jagan assets case. Deputy minister Damodar Rajanarsimha who was expecting to be accommodated in the ministry has received a rude shock. He has already complained to the Congress high command about this "ill-treatment". But Kiran Kumar is in no mood to reconcile with Rajanarsimha who insults the CM wherever he goes. With elections less than a month away, the Congress feels that it is best that Kiran Kumar be projected as an aggressive leader a la Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and is giving him more freedom.
In an incident of credit card fraud, Hyderabad cyber crime police have arrested an MBA graduate Syed Jabbar who is a customer support executive at the HSBC call centre. Jabbar, who was unhappy with his salary and often dealt with credit card transactions at the call centre, apparently decided to do some research on credit card cloning. He is said to have purchased debit and credit card data from a Nigerian named Omorye on an online chat community. Jabbar is then believed to have lured some workers from a petrol pump filling station, thus beginning his operations with the help of a portable skimmer and credit card readers. Unsuspecting customers who swiped their credit cards at the petrol pump would find themselves defrauded of their money. Based on a complaint from a customer N Sridhar, cyber crime sleuths zoomed in on Jabbar and arrested him. The gang's arrest brings to light the danger of using credit cards at petrol pumps, shopping malls and restaurants. So Hyderabadis are being advised to exercise extreme caution.