It was yet another week of hot and spicy developments both on political and non-political fronts in the state.The spicy part of the week was the exposure of sex racket in the Tollywood with the arrest of two heroines-turned-vamps Saira Bhanu and Jyothy who were trapped and caught by the task force police of Hyderabad while indulging in flesh trade. The police are now linking up the sex racket with the drug racket busted last week. Though both the actresses were let off, it exposed the ugly face of the Tollywood.
Interestingly, Director General of Police R R Girish Kumar also announced that there were several VIPs behind the drug and sex rackets but refused to divulge the names.
Hyderabad was also in the news for wrong reasons last week: the decision by the University of Hyderabad to award honourary doctorate degree to world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand landed in a controversy, when the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development shot down the university’s proposal by questioning his nationality. A humiliated Anand declined to take the award, despite an apology from Union Minister Kapil Sibal.
Yet another interesting development on the non-political front was the appearance of scam-tainted ex-chairman of Satyam Computers B Ramalinga Raju in the Nampally criminal court in connection with the Rs 14,000 crore accounting fraud in the company, to fulfil the bail conditions. It was a surprise for everybody, as Raju has been avoiding the trial on health grounds for more than 11 months and one wondered how he could suddenly become healthy to attend the court after getting the bail from the high court last week.
On the political front, things started getting hotting up as the first death anniversary of former chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy is fast approaching. His son and Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy is in no mood to listen to the high command’s directive on his Odarpu Yatra. As if a semi-final battle with the high command, he took out Odarpu Yatra for three days in Pulivendula constituency drawing huge crowds.
Notwithstanding the warning from the Delhi bosses, five MLAs from Kadapa attended his rallies, though minister for minority welfare Md Ahmadulla, a known follower of YSR, abstained from the yatra. Though Jagan did not make any earth-shaking statements, his simple comment that the people had been watching the developments for the last nine months and that he needed their blessings indicates the developments to be unfolded in the next week. As if an indication to the developments to come in the next few days, the Centre checkmated Jagan group by canceling the approval given to the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation for exploration of iron ore in Bayyaram forests of Khammam district, there by making the memorandum of agreement signed with Rakshna Steels Limited has become null and void. The company is believed to have benami investments of evangelist Anil Kumar, brother-in-law of Jagan.
If reports from the Delhi by this week end are any indication, Jagan’s days in the Congress party are numbered.
In an ironic twist to the Jagan episode, Union minister of state for human resource development Daggubati Purandeshwari, who played a major role in highlighting the high command’s mind on the yatra, made a surprising statement that she would consider the chief minister’s post if the Congress high command offers her. And she had to receive brickbats for exposing her intentions.
The last week also saw Praja Rajyam Party coming back into focus with its two-day plenary at Visakhpatnam. The meeting has failed to evoke any euphoria as except for the election of Chiranjeevi as the party president and a few boring speeches, there was nothing for anyone to cheer about. The PRP president himself admitted that politics was not a bed of roses and he had to travel on a bumpy road.
By the way, Chiranjeevi celebrated his birthday at the beginning of the week with a lot of fanfare. As if to cheer him on the birthday, the Rosaiah government ordered an inquiry into the allegations of blood sale in the Chiranjeevi blood bank, which was nothing but an attempt to bail him out.
Meanwhile, the condition of the Telugu Desam Party is turning from bad to worse. A large number of TDP workers and leaders in Telangana are migrating en masse into the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the most important one being former MLA N Sudhakar Rao of Warangal. In a bid to stem the rot, Naidu has been holding a series of meetings with the TDP leaders from the region to keep his flock together. His latest slogan; Jai Telangana, Jai Telugu Desam also failed to enthuse the party cadres and the leaders, who are now demanding a separate forum within the party.
Pradesh Congress Committee president D Srinivas who met party president Sonia Gandhi for the first time after the miserable performance of the party in the recent by-elections in Telangana, managed to retain his position for some more time. He is most likely to be taken into the AICC.