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YSRCP MPs are becoming a laughing stock in Parliament !


Know what is the latest subject of joking in Lok Sabha’s Central Hall and in the lobbies these days? The speeches of YSRCP MPs. If sources are to be believed, the speeches of the YSRCP MPs in Lok Sabha are a topic of derision for the MPs from other states.  The YSRCP MPs in Lok Sabha are now becoming a laughing stock, say sources.

With the current parliament in its 3rd year, YS Jagan has asked his MPs to up their ante and raise as many issues pertaining to AP’s interests as possible. He also chided some MPs for remaining mute spectators in Delhi. As a result, many MPs have begun raising several issues. What poor English communication skills, grammatical errors and even heavily accented manner of speaking have turned these speakers into butt of jokes.

YSRCP has highly educated MPs like Margani Bharat of Rajahmundry, Gorantla Madhav of Hindupur, Talari Rangaiah, Bala Showrie and Mithun Reddy. But, the MPs are failing to make their mark. In Rajya Sabha, the situation is better with an articulate and knowledgeable Vijay Sai Reddy leading the charge.

On the contrary, though the TDP has just three MPs, all of them are articulate and are fluent in English. In fact, Srikakulam MP K Rammohan Naidu is equally fluent in both Hindi and English. His speeches are eagerly lapped up and appreciated. Similarly, foreign-educated Jayadev Galla too is an effective communicator in English and has won praise for his speeches. Kesineni Nani too is a forceful speaker in English. Commentators say that it is about time the YSRCP MPs should work on their communication skills, especially in English. 

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Why Jagan is in a rush to create new districts in AP ?


Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy seems to be in a rush to create new districts in the state.

The deadlines fixed by Jagan for officials all of a sudden to start the process for creation on new districts shocked officials.

Jagan wants officials to complete ground work on creation of new districts before January 2022.

This means that just one month (December) is left for officials to meet the deadline.

Creation of new districts in AP was decided by Jagan in 2020. But the CM ignored to take this initiative forward for the past one one and half year.

Now all of a sudden he wants officials to complete the ground work in a month.

Officials informed him that districts cannot be increased unless the Census is conducted by the Centre.

The Centre announced to conduct Census from January 2022 though it was supposed to start in 2020 which was halted due to Covid pandemic.

Despite this, Jagan asked them to complete ground work like issuing draft notifications on new districts, their boundaries and conduct public hearing in a month.

Jagan wants districts in AP to de doubled from 13 to 26 although he earlier stated that districts will be increased to 25 based on 25 parliamentary constituencies.

But why this hurry? Political circles say Jagan wants to increase districts in his first term as CM itself like CM KCR did in Telangana in his first term by increasing districts from 10 to 33.

Even if Jagan retains power in 2024 Assembly polls or not, Jagan wants to establish his mark in Andhra Pradesh forever by increasing
districts which subsequent governments will also need to follow.

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Is Chandrababu readying up ‘secret weapons’ for 2024?


Is Chandrababu bringing out his “hidden weapons” to counter the YSRCP blitzkrieg? Sources in the know say ‘yes.’  Chandrababu, who realises that the TDP is passing through a very critical phase in its existence, wants to bring to the fore his two most ‘potent’ weapons. Chandrababu is already said to have initiated steps to put in place his master plan.

The TDP realises that there are two weapons that he can use to outwit the YSRCP. One is Pawan Kalyan. An electoral understanding with Pawan Kalyan and his Jana Sena will give the TDP the required advantage. In fact, it was the alliance with Pawan Kalyan and the BJP that helped him to sail through in 2014. In 2019, he fell out with Pawan and the BJP and thus could not withstand Jagan’s political machinations. So, Chandrababu Naidu is trying to get pally with Pawan. This could be seen in the Monday’s statement of Pawan Kalyan demanding action against the spate of attacks on TDP offices across the state. Soon after the attacks began, Pawan issued a statement and sought Centre’s intervention.

The second ‘most potent weapon’ to save the TDP is roping Junior NTR. Highly placed sources say that Chandrababu Naidu has already spoken to Junior NTR. Junior NTR has been keeping away from the TDP after he was slighted and ignored by Chandrababu post 2009 elections. But, Chandrababu is said to have told NTR that it was time to bury the differences and save the TDP. NTR is said to have responded favourably. However, his movie commitments might prevent him from jumping into the fray immediately.

Sources say that NTR might campaign for the party that his gradpa launched at the time of elections. TDP sources feel that this surprise weapon will push the YSRCP into defence. The TDP, sources say, is readying its weapons for the 2024.

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Former Intelligence chief of Andhra Pradesh placed under suspension


Government issues late night orders
Directs AB Venkateswara Rao to not leave Vijayawada
Jagan Government’s Vendetta?
No posting since the formation of YCP Govt

Senior IPS official of Andhra Pradesh Cadre, Former Intelligence Chief and Director General of Police (DGP) Mr. A.B.Venkateswara Rao is placed under suspension by the government with the allegations on procurement of ‘Security Equipment’ from Israel.

The government issued orders late night on Saturday along with a slide-show of the charges framed against him which mentioned major violations by a bureaucrat under the All India Service (Conduct) Rules, 1968 and directed him in the GO to not leave Vijayawada till the completion of enquiry in the case.

The government said that Mr.Venkateswara Rao procured some Security Equipments from Israel and it did not follow procurement rules. “Mr. Rao had colluded with M/S RT Inflatables Private Limited, an Israeli Defence Equipment Manufacturer to illegal award critical intelligence and surveillance contract to his son Mr. Chetan Sai Krishna” it said. The government also said that the investigation had revealed a direct correlation between the accused officer and a foreign defence manufacturing firm.

But, sources said that the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Mr. Y.S.Jaganmohan Reddy had targeted Mr. A.B.Venkateswara Rao since last year’s general elections and made allegations against him followed by submitting representations to the Election Commission of India (ECI) requesting keeping Mr. AB aside from the intelligence chief’s post till completing elections.

Followed by the complaints lodged by the Jagan’s YCP, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) directed the AP government to transfer Mr. AB and must not give any post related to elections.

Since the formation of YCP government, Mr. AB, who is 1989 batch IPS officer and on Director General of Police rank, had not given any posting and the government did not relive him for Central Services.

Sources from bureaucracy are saying that the act by the AP government was just a vendetta against a honest officer and demanding the Union Government to look into the matter.

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Council crisis – 5 MLCs absent at TDLP meeting


All political speculation is now on how TDP boss Chandrababu Naidu will save his party from the huge challenge in the Legislative Council. The YCP Ministers are making all out efforts to lure opposition MLCs to their side. Amid this, Naidu held the TD Legislature Party meeting in Amaravati today. Nearly 5 MLCs are absent at this meet. They are however in touch with the TDP leaders. They have given personal reasons for their absence. Despite this, Chandrababu is making sure that they will not slip away at the last moment. Political circles say that some of the 5 MLCs may shift their loyalties if not all. Already, 2 TDP MLCs openly announced their support to Jagan Reddy. Another MLC Dokka Manikya Vara Prasad has announced his resignation and also his decision not to attend the Legislative Council. With this, TDP strength came down to 31. Excluding Chairman and Deputy Chairman, TDP effective strength will be 29. Out of these, 24 TDP MLCs attended the party legislature wing meeting. As of now, TDP position looks safe.
The YCP target is to win over at least 12 TDP MLCs. YCP crisis managers are still using all tricks possible to win the numbers game in the Council. Jagan Reddy is unwilling to accept the tough political reality and pressing ahead with his bulldozing plans. But, Naidu is using all his management tactics to protect his MLCs at this crucial time ahead of Council session tomorrow. Can YCP change the equations overnight? Wait till tomorrow

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Vizag Capital Bill passed in Assembly


The YCP government passed the Capital shifting bill in the Assembly on Monday night. After a big debate till late night, the House passed the bill to create three Capital Cities in the state. Jagan Circar passed the bill amid strong objections raised by the TDP inside the House and police lathicharge against the Chalo Assembly protesters.
Meanwhile, some TDP MLAs were suspended for storming into the well of the house and obstricted the concluding speech of Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy. Sakashi Media and CM Jagan alleged that the TDP MLAs deliberately were doing drama in the Assembly to obstruct the CM. Jagan Reddy deplored that only 7 members of YCP spoke in the Assembly though their party has 151 members while 5 TDP Members of TDP spoke though they have only 23 member in the House.
Opposition leader Chandrababu Naidu described the bill as against the spirit of the AP Reorganization Act 2014 which clearly suggested just one Capital for AP but not 3 Capitals.

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Jagan , YSRCP leaders floating in dreams !


Almost all the YCP leaders are busy making plans for their key roles and powerful positions. They firmly believe in their party running government from May 23. Jaganmohan Reddy is no exception to this and he is literally floating in CM dreams. Insiders revealed that Jaganmohan Reddy is making plans to conduct his first YCP Legislature Party meeting at Idupulapaya nearer to his father’s samadhi.

There is also talk that Jagan is not showing interest in conducting his swearing-in function in Amaravati capital city. There’s no clue as yet on this but Jagan is considering various other options for the same. His party leaders are also speculating on who will be given which ministry. Many MLA hopefuls are already making representations to Vijayasai Reddy and YV Subba Reddy. There’s talk that either Roja or Kodali Nani will be made the home minister. The party leaders are also discussing that Jaganmohan Reddy will pursue cases against Chandrababu Naidu to target him and cripple his party once YCP comes to power.

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Ganesh Chaturthi begins with gaiety in Telangana, Andhra


Ganesh Chaturthi began with pomp and gaiety in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Thursday as devotees installed the idols across the two states.

Thousands of idols of different shapes and sizes were installed at specially decorated “pandals” or makeshift platforms erected by various neighbourhood and traders’ associations.

The 11-day-long festivities began amid tight security in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

Devotees also performed puja to the elephant-headed Hindu god in their houses. The markets were abuzz with activity as men and women bought flowers, leaves, fruits and other puja items.

Several trucks were seen carrying giant idols from Dhoolpet — a market famous for idol-making in the old city of Hyderabad.

Like every year, the tallest Ganesh idol was installed at Khairatabad in the heart of Hyderabad. The idol this time is 57 feet high and 24 feet wide, weighing more than 45 tonne.

Telangana ministers N. Narasimha Reddy and T. Srinivas Yadav, local MLA and BJP leader Chintala Ramachandra Reddy and others offered first puja. Hundreds of devotees thronged the place to catch a glimpse of the idol and make their offerings.

A sweet firm from Andhra Pradesh is offering 580 kg laddu as “Maha Prasadam” to Khairatabad Ganesh. According to organisers, the laddu has been made with 220 kg sugar, 145 kg cow ghee, 175 kg Bengal gram, 25 kg cashew nut and 13 kg almond.

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, along with his family members, performed Ganesh puja at Pragati Bhavan, his official residence, to mark the occasion.

Rao, his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N. Chandrababu Naidu and the Governor of both states, E.S.L. Narasimhan, have greeted people on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.

Special puja programmes were also organised in the offices of political parties in Hyderabad.

According to the police, 30,000 idols will be immersed in Hussainsagar, the lake in the heart of the city, during the 11-day fete. Nearly half of them will be immersed on the final day — September 23.

Over 20,000 policemen and personnel from paramilitary forces will be deployed in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad to maintain law and order during the festival.

The police said tight security arrangements were made in the communally-sensitive old city of Hyderabad.

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Bharat Bandh evokes partial response in Telangana, Andhra


A day-long Bharat Bandh or nationwide shutdown called by the Congress and Left parties to protest rising fuel prices evoked partial response in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Monday.

Bus services were affected since early morning in both the Telugu states. Many private educational institutions also remained closed.

Activists of the Congress and the Left parties launched a sit-in at the depots of state road transport corporations to prevent buses from plying on the roads.

Leaders of Congress, Left parties, Jana Sena and trade unions affiliated to them were arrested in Hyderabad and other towns in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretaries Saleem Ahmed and Srinivasan Krishnan led the protests in Mahabubnagar and Karimnagar.

Ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Telangana is not supporting the shutdown call.

Though Andhra Pradesh’s ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is also not officially supporting the shutdown, its activists in both the states joined the protests against rise in prices of petrol and diesel.

Raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the protestors took to streets, staging road blockades and organising rallies.

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Housewarming of 3 lakh units performed on single day in Andhra


The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday claimed to have set a record with the opening of over three lakh houses built for poor across the state on a single day.

‘Gruha Pravesham’ (housewarming) programme of 3,00,346 houses built under housing scheme for poor in all 13 districts of the state was performed simultaneously, an official statement said.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu launched the programme in Vijayawada while ministers and other public representatives participated in the house warming in different parts of the state.

The Chief Minister said the houses were completed during 2017-18 at a cost of Rs 3,746 crore. The beneficiaries were from the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and the backward classes.

He claimed that nowhere such a large number of houses were launched on a single day. He announced that housewarming of another 3 lakh houses would be performed in January next year.

Naidu said 5,80,849 houses were completed from 2014 to June this year under various schemes. House warming of one lakh houses was performed on October 2 last year.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief said his government was working to fulfil the dream of all the poor to have their own house.

Targeting the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, he said it promised to build one crore houses but could not complete even 35 lakh houses across the country.

He said while the state government spent Rs 6,260 crore towards housing so far, the Central government allotted only Rs 1,296 crore.

Naidu slammed the Centre for betraying the state on all fronts. He said the state government would continue its welfare schemes despite not getting cooperation from the NDA government.

The TDP chief said the Centre had done injustice by stating in its affidavit filed in the Supreme Court that special category status can’t be given to Andhra Pradesh.

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CBI books two cases in Rs 539-crore IDBI fraud in Andhra, Telangana


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked 41 persons including three officials of the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) for cheating the bank to the tune of Rs 539 crore in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The federal agency registered two separate cases relating to large-scale frauds in IDBI branches in the two states in sanctioning pisciculture loans.

In the first case, 31 persons including IDBI’s General Manager Battu Rama Rao and former Chief General Manager R. Damodaran, 22 aggregators and bank panel valuers were booked for cheating the bank to the tune of Rs 445.32 crores. Rama Rao has also been removed from the service.

The central agency booked the accused on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, criminal misconduct and misappropriation.

The action came after a complaint by IDBI official in Hyderabad that about 220 borrowers, consisting of 22 aggregators, conspired with IDBI bank officials at its Basheerbagh (Hyderabad) and Siripuram (Visakhapatnam) branches, along with bank panel valuers, and availed Kisan Credit Card (KCC) and pisciculture loans through 220 loan accounts from different branches of the bank aggregating Rs 198.28 crore

The loans, which were availed on the basis of fake documents and overvalued collateral property, subsequently become NPA. The outstanding amount as on September 2017 stood at Rs 445.32.

It was found that pisciculture or no other fish farming activity was ever taken up in the said lands in East and West Godavari and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh and Adilabad district in Telangana and that sanctioned loans were misappropriated.

Bank panel valuers Lt. Col. B.K. Sahoo, Aakar Consulting Engineers, R.A. Sharma, M.V. Srinivasulu, Subha Syndicate, Srinivasa Rau and Somasekhara Rao were among those booked.

In the second case, the CBI booked a IDBI official and nine others for defrauding the bank to the tune of Rs 93.73 crore.

Chandrasekhar Harish Chennapagari, who was working as Assistant General Manager at Guntur branch of IDBI, allegedly abused his official position to process and sanction 142 pisciculture loans from 2010 to 2012. He has been removed from service by the IDBI.

Investigations revealed that the loans were sanctioned on the basis of fake documents. The accused include a bank panel valuer, a bank panel advocate, aggregators and individual borrowers.

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Andhra signs MoUs of over Rs 4 lakh cr at Partnership Summit


The Andhra Pradesh government signed MoUs worth Rs 4,39,765 crore at the CII Partnership Summit 2018 which concluded here on Monday.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu announced that the government signed 734 MoUs with various companies. The investment is expected to create 11,02,125 jobs.

During the first two days, agreements worth nearly Rs 3 lakh crore investment were signed while on the last day, more companies came forward to sign the documents expressing their willingness to invest over Rs 1 lakh crore.

The MoUs signed in the energy sector alone expected to realize in investment of over Rs 1.11 lakh crore.

Addressing the valedictory function of the three-day event, he said the state received investment commitments from several major companies including Reliance, Adani Group, Lulu Group and Google.

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and its partners had on Saturday announced Rs 55,000 crore investment in energy, electronics and other sectors in the state.

Naidu said RIL signed MoUs for three projects. These include a unit at Tirupati to manufacture one million mobile phones. He said the company will also create best ecosystem for innovation incubation, and startups with venture capital.

United Arab Emirates-based Lulu Group signed a MoU to build a convention centre, hotel and shopping mall in Visakhapatnam.

India Gas Solutions Private Ltd, a 50:50 joint venture company of RIL and BP International Ltd (BP) in the business of marketing gas and LNG in India, signed a MoU to develop offshore gas discoveries in Block KGD6 in the Krishna Godavari basin, through three projects with investments up to Rs 40,000 crore.

The Adani Group has announced investment of Rs 9,000 crore including the development of a port at Bhavanapadu.

Naidu said Anantapur will emerge as the automobile hub. He said the first car from Kia Motors’s unit will roll out next years. The company will also export cars manufactured in this facility.

The Chief Minister also said he would personally monitor the progress of the projects and assured the investors that all clearances will be granted within 21 days.

“If you have any problem you can bring it to my notice. I am only a call away,” he said.

Naidu expressed satisfaction over the successful conduct of the third consecutive Partnership Summit here. This year’s event saw the highest ever participation. As many as 4,253 delegates including 280 delegates from 50 countries participated in the summit.

In the industries sector, the state signed 129 MoUs, which is expected to bring Rs 58,337 crore investment and generate 1,31,682 jobs. In mining sector, 31 MoUs worth Rs 12,227 crore were signed.

The MoUs inked in Information Technology, Electronics and Communication sectors will fetch Rs 30,050 crore investment to the state.

Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board signed 144 MoUs with investment commitment of Rs 1,51,400 crore.

The investment expected in food processing sector is Rs 3,100 crore.

Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA), which is developing new state capital Amaravati, entered into 37 MoUs with various firms to attract investment of Rs 4,964 crore.

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Platform tickets prices doubled in Andhra, Telangana for Sankranti


Railway authorities in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have doubled platform ticket at some major railway stations for a week to regulate huge rush of passengers during Sankranti festival season.

South Central Railway (SCR) has enhanced the platform tickets at Secunderabad and Kacheguda stations in Hyderabad from Rs 10 to Rs 20 between January 11 and January 17.

The platform tickets at Vijayawada, Rajamahendravaram and Nellore stations in Andhra Prades have also been doubled.

Officials said they anticipate huge crowd of rail travellers as well as accompanying non-travellers during the festival season.

By enhancing the platform ticket, they hope to regulate the flow of people and avoid inconvenience to the travelling public by ensuring decongestion of platforms.

A stampede-like situation prevails at major railway stations as lakhs of people catch the trains to reach their homes for Sankranti, the harvest festival which is celebrated with pomp and gaiety in both the Telugu states.

Families hailing from various parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and settled in Hyderabad and surrounding districts visit their native places to join their near and dear ones for the colourful celebrations.

The SCR has announced that it will operate 32 special trains to clear the extra rush of passengers during the season. These trains will run from Hyderabad to Kakinada Town, Kakinada Town to Secunderabad, Secunderabad to Narsapur, Hyderabad – Kochuveli – Hyderabad, Kacheguda-Bhubaneswar- Kacheguda andASecunderabad-Gudur.

Meanwhile, the road transport corporations in both the states will also be operating thousands of special buses to clear festival rush.

Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has announced that it will operate 2,500 additional buses every day. Officials said 700 of these buses would be operated from Hyderabad to ferry people visiting their homes towns in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.

As Vijayawada has become the state capital of Andhra Pradesh and a large number of people from various places in the state has settled in the region, the APSRTC will be operating daily 100 additional buses from Vijayawada and Guntur to various towns in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema.

The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) has also announced that it will operate 3,262 special buses from Hyderabad to various places in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

While 1,910 buses will ferry passengers from Hyderabad to various destinations in Telangana, 1,352 will be operated to different towns in Andhra Pradesh. These buses will be in addition to 3,500 regular buses.

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16 killed as boat capsizes in Krishna river in Andhra


Boat capsizes in Krishna river in Andhra

At least 16 tourists, including nine women and two children, were killed and eight others went missing as a boat capsized in the Krishna river near here, in Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district on Sunday, officials said.

The boat overturned at Ibrahimpatnam Ferry Ghat around 5.20 p.m. There were 41 tourists on board belonging to a private operator and returning from Bhavani Island to Pavitra Sangam, or holy confluence of Krishna and Godavari rivers.

Locals and rescue workers rescued 15 people. Krishna District Collector B. Lakshmikantham said nine persons were admitted to hospitals. The condition of one of the injured is stated to be critical.

Home Minister N. Chinnarajappa, who rushed to the site, said 16 bodies had been recovered while the search was on for the missing.

The National Disaster Response Force personnel joined divers in the rescue operation, which was hampered due to the darkness after sunset.

The tourists, most of them hailing from Ongole town in Prakasam district of the state, were returning to Pavitra Sangam for performing some religious rituals at the end of their day-long trip to Bhavani Island.

Chinnarajappa said 32 members of the Ongole Walkers’ Club were among those on board. He announced Rs 8 lakh compensation each to the families of the deceased.

Overload is believed to be the cause of the accident, he said, adding that the private company also did not have permission to operate the boat.

Survivors said they boarded the private boat as the boats of the Tourism Department were not available. They also complained that there were no life jackets on the boat.

The District Collector said a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder was booked against the company operating the boat.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has expressed shock over the accident and ordered a probe by a senior police officer.

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Religious fervour marks Eid-ul-Adha in Telangana, Andhra


Religious fervour and enthusiasm marked Eid-ul-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Saturday.

Muslims in Hyderabad and in other cities and towns of Telangana, and in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh offered Eid prayers and sacrificed goats or cattle commemorating the great sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim.

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Governor of the two states E.S.L. Narasimha Rao greeted people on the occasion.

The day began with Muslims attired in their best, offering Eid prayers. At many places, Eid prayers were offered a few minutes after Fajr or the regular morning prayers.

Tens of thousands offered prayers in Hyderabad and 30 other districts of Telangana and all 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh.

During their speeches before namaz, the imams exhorted Muslims to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice and follow Prophet Ibrahim, who offered to sacrifice his son Prophet Ismail to please Allah. The Almighty replaced Ismail with a sheep just as Ibrahim was about to sacrifice him.

Also known as Bakr-id or Eid-e-Qurban, it is the second major festival of Muslims.

The meat of the sacrificed animal is distributed equally in three parts. The person making the sacrifice keeps one part for his family while the other two parts are distributed among relatives and the poor.

The streets of the Muslim-majority old city of Hyderabad wore a festive look while butchers coming from other districts did brisk business.

Hectic activity was seen in many parts of the city as the sale of goats continued throughout the night. The goats and sheep were sold for Rs 5,500 to Rs 8,000 each.

In response to the appeal by a group of religious scholars, Muslims preferred sacrificing goats, sheep and cattle rather than cows.

Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana Mohammed Mehmood Ali had appealed to Muslims to respect sentiments of their countrymen by avoiding sacrifice of cows. He advised them to sacrifice goat or other cattle.

As police had seized trucks transporting cattle at various places, Ali asked Director General of Police Anurag Sharma to ensure that the cattle other than cows are released.

The sacrifice can be made during the three-day celebrations, with Saturday being the first day.

The biggest congregation in Hyderabad was held at the historic Mir Alam Eidgah where thousands of people offered prayers. Moulana Mohammed Rizwan Qureshi led the prayers.

The historic Mecca Masjid, Madannapet Eidgah, Hockey Ground Masab Tank and Military Ground Mehdipatnam witnessed other big congregations. Prayers were also held at hundreds of mosques in the city.

The imams in Hyderabad prayed for peace in the country and across the world. They also prayed for rains as the city is facing drinking water shortage due to insufficient rains this season.

Tight security arrangements were made in the communally sensitive old city of Hyderabad in view of the ongoing Ganesh festivities, which will conclude with the annual immersion processions on Tuesday.

A day before Eid, police and paramilitary forces conducted a flag march in various parts of the old city of Hyderabad to ensure people are safe and secure ahead of the two festivals.

Eid was also celebrated in Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Adilabad, Warangal and other towns of Telangana.

In Andhra Pradesh, huge Eid congregations were seen in Vijayawada, Guntur, Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur and other major towns of the state.

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Andhra got more help from Centre post bifurcation: KTR


Telangana Minister of IT K Taraka Rama Rao said that Andhra Pradesh received more assistance from Centre after bifurcation. He met Arun Kumar, Secretary, Union Ministry of Mines on Saturday. They discussed the mineral resources and pending issues.

Speaking at the meeting, KTR said that the Centre has not succeeded in fulfilling the promises of the AP reorganisation. It has not fulfilled many assurances, including the setting up of the Bayyaram plant. He demanded that work on Bayyaram plant to be started soon.

The demand for setting up steel plant at Bayyaram is getting intensified from locals as well. This is not the first time that TRS criticised Centre, earlier MPs critiqued the Union government for failing to address the concerns of the newly formed state. The BJP-led NDA government failed to respond to various requests other requests of the TRS government like GST exemption for flagship schemes, sanction of AIIMS, irrigation projects and increasing the Assembly constituencies.

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Ram Nath Kovind begins campaign in Telangana, Andhra

NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday began his campaign in Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

A day after opposition parties’ nominee Meira Kumar visited Hyderabad, Kovind arrived in the city to bolster his support.

Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) accorded him a warm welcome at the Begumpet Airport.

Central Ministers M. Venkaiah Naidu, Bandaru Dattatreya, BJP’s Telangana unit chief K. Laxman, Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mohammed Mehmood Ali, Ministers N. Narasimha Reddy and Harish Rao were among the leaders who welcomed Kovind.

He later left for Haritha Plaza hotel to meet the BJP’s members of Parliament and state legislators.

This would be followed by a meeting with leaders of YSRCP, the opposition party of Andhra Pradesh which has already declared its support to him. YSRCP chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and party MPs and MLAs will interact with him.

Kovind would then have a meeting with leaders of Telangana’s ruling party Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which too, has announced its support to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee.

TRS President and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, party MPs and MLAs will meet the former Bihar Governor.

The TRS erected huge hoardings at busy intersections in the city to welcome him. The hoardings carry pictures of Kovind and Chandrasekhar Rao.

After meeting with TRS legislators, Kovind would then leave for Vijayawada where he would meet TDP President and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and other leaders.

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GST: Andhra demands exemption for textiles, fertilisers

Andhra Pradesh has demanded exemption for both textiles and fertilisers from the Goods and Services Tax, while the GST Council meeting here on Sunday has already decided that e-way bill will be optional.

Briefing reporters here during a pause in the Council’s 17th meeting, Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu said that he has requested that textiles and fertilisers be exempted from the GST.

He also said that commercial tax from all border posts will be removed from July 1 when the GST goes into operation, replacing the existing myriad central and state levies on both goods and services.

Ramakrishnudu also said that the Council turned down all the other representations for revision in rates, after it had agreed to revision for a number of items at its previous meeting here on June 11.

Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said that the e-way bill will be optional under the GST.

“States which have an e-way bill structure in place can continue with it. However, since Maharashtra does not have a e-way bill facility, the state will not be implementing it,” he said.

E-way bill is an electronic way bill for movement of goods which can be generated on the GST Network (GSTN) portal. Movement of goods of more than Rs 50,000 in value cannot be made by a registered person without an e-way bill.

Mungantiwar also said that the structure of the proposed anti-profiteering committee has been finalised and that lottery tickets were likely to attract a tax of either 18 per cent or 28 per cent, the highest slabs in the four-tier new indirect tax rate structure.

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Kia Motors’ car plant to come up in Andhra


South Korean auto major Kia Motors will set up a car manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh with an investment of $1.1 billion.

The plant to come up in Penugonda in Anantapur district will produce 3 lakh cars in a year. The work on the facility will start towards the end of this year while the production is expected to commence in the second half of 2019.

The company on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh government in the presence of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu..

“Kia plans to produce a strategic compact sedan and compact SUV especially for the Indian market at the new plant, which will occupy around 23 million square feet and incorporate facilities for stamping, welding, painting and assembly. The site will also be home to numerous supplier companies’ facilities,” said a company statement.

The state government has allotted 600 acres of land for the plant, which will provide direct employment to 10,000 people.

“It will enable us to sell cars in the world’s fifth largest market, while providing greater flexibility for our global business. Worldwide demand for Kia cars is growing and this is our latest step towards becoming a leading global car manufacturer,” said Han-Woo Park, President of Kia Motors.

The company said construction of a new manufacturing facility in India will enable it to maintain its position as one of the world’s fastest-growing automobile brands. With this the company will start selling its models in India, and benefit from further sustainable sales growth, locally and internationally.

India is the fastest growing major new car market and the fifth largest in the world, with more than 3.3 million new cars sold in 2016. Forecasts suggest the country will become the third-largest car market by the end of 2020, it added.

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Maoist shutdown in Andhra, Telangana is peaceful


No untoward incident was reported in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on Thursday as the 24-hour shutdown called by Communist Party of India-Maoist evoked little response.

The CPI-Maoist called for the shutdown in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra to protest the killing of 30 Maoists in the Andhra-Odisha border area last week in alleged fake gun battles.

The police in the two Telugu speaking states said no untoward incident was reported from anywhere till evening.

According to Visakhapatnam (Rural) Superintendent of Police Rahul Dev Sharma, the shutdown call had no impact as buses plied as usual while shops remained open. A similar situation prevailed in Vijayanagaram and Srikakulam districts.

The police had stepped up security in Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vijayanagaram districts in north coastal Andhra Pradesh, bordering Odisha to tackle the shutdown.

However, an uneasy calm prevailed in tribal villages of Visakhapatnam, bordering Odisha, as additional forces were deployed to foil any possible revenge attack by the Maoists.

Some bus services between Andhra and Odisha were suspended as a precautionary measure.

The police in Andhra and Odisha, including the elite anti-Maoist Greyhounds of Andhra, continued their combing operations on the border between the two states.

The forces also used helicopters to maintain a strict vigil in the dense forest areas.

People’s representatives were advised to take all security precautions. They were also asked to inform the police before visiting interior areas.

In Telangana, the police increased security in districts bordering Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.

The shutdown partially affected bus services in Khammam district bordering Chhattisgarh. However, there was no impact in other districts.

As many as 30 Maoists, including some top leaders of the organisation, were killed in a series of alleged gun battles with the police in Malkangiri district of Odisha near the Andhra-Odisha border.

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