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Kesineni Nani vexed with TDP-BJP alliance


Telugu Desham Party(TDP) Member of Parliament of Vijayawada Kesineni Srinivas also known as Nani made controversial comments about ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was critical about alliance with BJP and said that contesting with them in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections fetched only 75000 votes majority for him. Further he held that if TDP alone contested in the elections, they would have got around 125000 majority. He was confident that in the next elections in 2019 TDP will win with a huge majority around 3lakhs in his parliamentary constituency.

Addressing a meeting of Vijayawada Urban Committee elections, the leader expressed his disgruntlement about the saffron party and alleged that the party participated in cross voting of 18000 votes. He said that TDP will contest alone in local elections. Post the Jagan-Modi meet, aloofness between TDP and BJP is clearly seen. Even Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said that at the time of elections only BJP will deliberate about forming alliance with TDP.

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Three years of Modi: Possibility of 2nd innings looms large


Considering that the score line in the last round of assembly elections before Narendra Modi’s third anniversary of the assumption of power was 3-2 in the Congress’s favour, one can only say that his approval rating has been average.

True, the final line-up of winners became 4-1 because the prime minister’s factotums were able to dislodge the Congress from its No 1 position in Goa and Manipur with some nimble politicking.

But the fact remains that the supposedly moribund Congress won a handsome victory in Punjab over the Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine and was initially the largest party in the Goa and Manipur legislatures.

It was the BJP’s overwhelming success in Uttar Pradesh which reinforced Modi’s larger-than-life image. But the reality is more mundane even if the country has been able to emerge from the policy paralysis of the twilight years of the Manmohan Singh government by achieving a more than seven per cent growth rate, up from 5.6 per cent in 2012-13 and 6.6 per cent in 2013-14.

However, the availability of jobs fell to its lowest level in 2015 and 2016 with figures of 155,000 and 231,000 new jobs compared to one million in 2009, which was Manmohan Singh’s best year before Sonia Gandhi’s populism undercut the economic reforms.

The reason for the slow job growth is known. It is the increasing resort to automation by the industries. But with 12 million to 15 million new job seekers entering the market every year, India’s demographic dividend of having a young work force may become something of a nightmare.

If a recent study nevertheless showed that 60 per cent of the respondents thought well of Modi, it meant that a large section of the people have retained their faith in his ability to take the country in the right economic direction.

There may be misgivings about the activities of the saffron militants. But these are probably seen as being isolated incidents which are highlighted by the media and do not affect the average people who are more concerned about the continuing unemployment rate, which has been noted by 63 per cent of those surveyed, and inflation (66 per cent).

But what has apparently impressed the people the most is the absence of corruption in the higher levels, which was the single most important factor for the Manmohan Singh government’s downfall.

However, as the disquiet about unemployment and high prices show, Modi is still basically on shaky ground which has been camouflaged by his rhetoric and the TINA (There Is No Alternative) factor at the national level although he has faced stiff resistance in several states.

The results in Punjab, in the Karnataka by-elections and West Bengal local body polls have shown that it will take a long time, if ever, for the BJP’s dream of a Congress-mukt (free) Bharat to be fulfilled.

At the all-India level, however, Modi holds almost complete sway, for none of the other parties has measured up to popular expectations.

The Congress has had to depend on Sonia Gandhi again despite her indifferent health because of Rahul Gandhi’s palpable inadequacies; Nitish Kumar has become even more deeply entangled in Bihar’s scam-tainted politics; Mulayam Singh Yadav’s main battle is still with his son, Akhilesh; Mamata Banerjee has remained essentially a state-level politician in ideas and personal appeal and Naveen Patnaik appears uninterested in the world outside Odisha.

The forthcoming presidential election will be yet another test of the respective strengths of the BJP and its opponents. As of now, the former appears to have its nose ahead in the race, especially because of the expected support from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the YSR Congress.

But much will depend on who the BJP chooses as its candidate, for it will show whether the party has risen to its stature after three years in power at the Centre to be a genuine national party or is still beholden to its friend, philosopher and guide — the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) — for seeing a multicultural nation through saffron-tinted glasses.

In all the appointments to the supposedly autonomous institutions that have been made so far, the BJP has allowed the RSS to plant its standard-bearers, even if the latter are not known for a wide recognition of their talents.

These devoted saffronites include the heads of such well-regarded institutions as the Indian Council of Historical Research and the Indian Council for Social Science Research. It is an open question whether these institutions will retain their high status once their terms end and not be deemed a “circus”, as the Nobel prize winner Venkatraman Ramakrishnan called the recent science congress.

But irrespective of who becomes the President — whether a deeply-hued saffronite or someone perceived as neutral — the possibility of a second innings for Modi looms large at the end of his three years in office.

His success is based on the image of being a man of development which has remained untainted by the depredations of the gau rakshaks and other Hindu fundamentalists.

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BJP readies Siddhartha Medical College grounds for Shah meet


Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party had finalised the Siddhartha Medical College grounds for the party national president Amit Shah meeting to be held on May 25.
Party senior leaders, led by Minister Kamineni Srinivas, Jammula Shyamkishore, V Srinivasa Raju, V Satyamurthy, performed the ground breaking ceremony at the grounds.

The Minister said that the party in the State had formed 25,000 booth committees across the State so far and three members of every committee would attend the proposed meeting. He said that the party was now expanding its base in the State and had already completed the membership drive.

The BJP leaders, though not speaking openly, are working on roping in several top leaders from the State into the party in the presence of Amit Shah. The BJP leaders in the neighbouring Telangana State are also planning for the large scale admissions into the party during his three-day visit to Hyderabad. On similar lines, the BJP leaders in AP are also planning for major defections.

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TDP-BJP Ministers lock horns over belt shops


Andhra Pradesh Excise Minister K Samuel Jawahar of TDP locked horns with Endowment Minister P Manikyala Rao of BJP. The BJP leader is against the running of belt shops (illegal liquor vends in villages) while the TDP is not taking stringent action and allegedly wants to continue them. Manikyala is keen on his principles while Jawahar has to meet his departments targets.

Manikyala Rao was obligated to visit liquor-addicted sick men, by the women of his constituency. The minister who has influence of RSS, troubled with the several complaints, commenced a straight-out ban on belt shops in his constituency. He even instituted a task force to implement the ban. The minister received support from women’s organisations.

This of course did not go well with ally TDP. Jawahar dismissed the statements of Manikyala. Both the ministers who hail from the West Godvari district are non-drinkers and are obligated by different reasons.

One of the first files inked by the Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu after taking oath in 2014 is related to closure of belt shops. But it is a known fact that these shops are sources to realize revenues and assist in overcoming the problems of deficit economy. While BJP leader is obligated to the people of his constituency on the other hand the TDP leader is duty-bound to his government.

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Dharna Chowk Demonstration witnesses flying chairs and sticks


Opposition parties are locking horns with the colony associations at Indira Park’s vicinity or Dharna Chowk of Telangana. The groups were seen in intense brawl who were not only raising slogans against each other but also were found throwing flags, sticks and chairs. A couple of them were seen injured in the scuttle.

TRS government decided to shift historic Dharna Chowk which played a crucial role in Telangana movement, from Indira Park to outskirts in Nagole. The Opposition parties including various organizations and people are protesting against the government’s decision and are demanding withdrawal of its decision.

However, the residents of the area along with members of Indira Park Morning Walkers’ Association are staging competitive protest opposing the political parties demonstration saying that regular protests are causing traffic problems and inconvenience to the locals. The opposition parties alleged that the sudden demand by colony associations against them is a sponsored by the TRS ruling party to hamper the campaign of the Dharna Chowk Protection Committee.

CP Mahender Reddy said all parties were permitted to stage protests at Dharna chowk. He said that the permission is valid only for today and the protests have to be conducted in peaceful atmosphere. He said action will be taken against those who violate the rules. The CP requested both the sides, the opposition parties and the residents to maintain endurance.

The ‘Chalo Indira Park’ movement on Monday has the support from all the opposition parties BJP, Congress, TDP CPI, CPM, Jana Sena.

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BJP chief on three-day visit to Telangana from May 22


BJP national President Amit Shah will visit Telangana for three days from May 22, a party leader said on Friday.

BJP Telangana unit President K. Laxman said Shah will visit Munugudu in Nalgonda district on May 22, and tour Nagarjunasagar and Miryalguda on May 23.

He will address party meetings in Nakrekal, Bhongir and Hyderabad on May 24.

Shah will also meet party district unit chiefs, other office-bearers and leaders during his visit to gear up the cadres for the 2019 general and state elections.

Laxman said the party will prepare a road map for the 2019 elections.

Addressing a meeting of BJP leaders from Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency will be top on the BJP chief’s tour programme.

Shah was scheduled to address BJP’s booth-level workers in the constituency last month but his visit was put off.

The BJP is determined to make a serious bid to wrest the Hyderabad seat from All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), which has been winning this seat since 1984.

Laxman said the party will try to win the support of poor Muslims in Hyderabad to defeat the AIMIM.

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Telangana opposition protest shifting of ‘Dharna Chowk’


All opposition parties in Telangana on Friday came together for another round of protest over the shifting of ‘Dharna Chowk’, a popular venue for staging protests in Hyderabad.

Leaders of all opposition parties and mass organisations participated in a silent protest at Telangana Martyrs’ Memorial at Gun Park, organised by Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC).

TJAC chairman Kodandaram, a bitter critic of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, led the protest and warned the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government that if it failed to withdraw the move, a march to ‘Dharna Chowk’ will be organised on May 15.

Kodandaram, who had played a key role in Telangana movement along with Chandrasekhar Rao, alleged that the government was trying to snatch democratic and constitutional rights of the people.

TJAC leader said that for over a month the opposition parties had been raising their voice over the issue but the government was bent on shifting ‘Dharna Chowk’.

Main opposition Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) declared their support to the proposed march.

State Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy said people had hoped that there will be greater freedom and liberty in Telangana state but the government was curbing people’s right to dissent.

The TDP’s Telangana unit President L. Ramna said the party would extend full support to TJAC on the issue.

‘Dharna Chowk’ has been the venue of thousands of protests by political parties, people’s organisations, students’ groups, employees’ unions and others for over two decades.

Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao had last month defended the police move to shift ‘Dharna Chowk’ to the city outskirts saying that some parties were deliberately creating problems in the name of protests.

In March, leaders of all opposition parties had come together to meet Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan Rao and submit a memorandum protesting the government’s move.

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BJP gets ready for expansion in AP


Visakhapatnam: The Bharatiya Janata Party is all set to expand its base in Andhra Pradesh in the coming months. While the party leaders claim that the expansion is set to take off once the party chief Amit Shah visits the State in next month, it is said that the actual work at the ground level would begin only after the replacement of the party leadership in the State.

Amit Shah had during his earlier visit to the State in February 2016 had asked the party leaders to march forward expanding the party base in the State. He saw a gap for BJP in the State politics with the debacle of the Congress and the failure of YSR Congress to be the main Opposition. He had categorically stated that people were looking for a real alternative party in the State and wanted the leaders to cash in on the opportunity. However, things did not go as anticipated and the party remained where it started in the State.

The leaders like Somu Veerraju, Kanna Lakshminarayana, Daggubati Purandheswari and others have been trying to expand the party but it could not move an inch forward with Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu favouring ties with the ruling Telugu Desam Party in the State and his loyalist and AP unit president K Haribabu not showing interest to displease TDP. Neither Venkaiah Naidu nor Haribabu acted on the complaints of the local leaders that the TDP was not allowing the party to expand its base. The leaders, at Bhimavaram meeting held in 2016, complained that the TDP leaders were not allowing them to take up membership drive in the villages fearing a threat.

Sources in the BJP said that the party national leadership is serious on the slow pace of expansion in the State. It is said that the leaders have complained against Venkaiah Naidu and Haribabu for not entertaining them to expand the base which was taken up seriously by the high command. It is for this reason, the party national leadership had decided to drop Haribabu and ask Venkaiah Naidu not to interfere with the AP affairs. This is expected to happen after Amit Shah’s visit to the State and the proposed national executive to be held in Visakhapatnam in June.

The party is also seriously weighing the candidatures of Somu Veerraju, Kanna Lakshminarayana and Purandheswari for the AP president post. A good number of party senior leaders are favouring Veerraju or Kanna who represent the Kapu community, a section of leaders are also in support of Purandheswari representing the dominant Kamma community in the State. It is to be seen how the BJP leadership would make its next move to expand its base in the State.

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Telangana assembly passes amendment to Land Acquisition Act


The Telangana assembly on Sunday passed amendments to the Land Acquisition Act sent back by the Law Ministry, amid protests by the Congress demanding a discussion on farmers’ problems.

The amendments to the Telangana Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Telangana Amendment Act, 2016) were passed within 10 minutes in a one-day special session of both the Houses.

The legislative council will meet later in the day to pass the amendments.

As soon as the assembly began its sitting, Congress legislators were on their feet demanding a debate on the demand for remunerative prices to chilli farmers.

Speaker Madhusudhana Chary, however, said the sitting was being held with the sole agenda of passing the amendments and no other issue would be taken up.

Deputy Chief Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali, also the Revenue Minister, moved the amendments passed by voice vote without debate.

Immediately after this, the Speaker adjourned the House sine die. The Congress legislators remained seated in the House even after adjournment for some time to register their protest.

Later, leader of opposition K. Jana Reddy told reporters that the assembly proceedings were conducted in an undemocratic manner.

He alleged that Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government was running away from debate on farmers’ problems.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also staged a protest near the assembly building to condemn the government’s attitude.

BJP and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members were not invited to the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the assembly on Saturday citing their suspension earlier during the budget session.

BJP members staged a silent protest. Wearing black scarves, they marched from Gun Park to the assembly premises.

BJP leader G. Kishan Reddy wondered how they could be prevented on ground of their suspension earlier.

BJP members were suspended on April 16 when they stalled the proceedings during the one-day special sitting called to pass a bill on increasing reservations for Muslims and Scheduled Tribes.

The Union Law Ministry earlier this week sent back to the state the Land Act for making “suitable amendments” to it.

The state legislature had passed the bill two months ago and the same was sent to the Centre for the President’s assent.

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Who will stop the BJP? No one in sight

After the resounding victories of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the UP assembly and Delhi municipal elections, the party increasingly appears to be politically invincible.

The three parties which offered some resistance to it in 2014 — the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha and Trinamool Congress in West Bengal — are not in the pink of health today.

The AIADMK has all but collapsed after former Chief Minister Jayalalitha’s death, the BJD has suffered serious reverses in the local polls and is feeling distinctly nervous while the Trinamool Congress has shot itself in the foot by its rather too soft a policy towards the Muslims, thereby alienating the Bengali middle-class Hindus, while several of its prominent personalities have become embroiled in scams.

Among the supposedly all-India parties, the fact that the Congress has fallen back on Sonia Gandhi to reach out to the regional leaders for an anti-BJP alliance shows that the party’s attempts to prop up Rahul Gandhi haven’t succeeded. It will not be easy for Sonia Gandhi, who is clearly not as fit and energetic as before, to take up the kind of role which she played to bring the non-BJP parties together in 2004.

Those who worsted the BJP in 2015, like Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi and Nitish Kumar in Bihar, have also suffered a decline, especially the former.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the BJP is now eying the east and the northeast as its new areas of conquest. The alacrity with which Congress MLAs in various states are joining the BJP shows that they regard their former adversary as a greener pasture for political and personal advancement.

It is not that the BJP doesn’t face problems. For one, it has become a virtual one-man party with its dependence on Narendra Modi for success in even municipal elections. The party does not have a second line of defence if only because Modi has kept previously prominent party members like Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha, not to mention veterans like L.K. Advani, well outside the organisation.

For another, the economy has not been picking up in a manner which will sustain hope about the success of Modi’s development agenda. The prime minister, therefore, has been speaking more about a pro-poor thrust a la Indira Gandhi than about rapid growth.

For a third, the government appears to be at a loss as to ways to deal with both external and internal threats posed by the Pakistan-based fidayeens (suicide bombers) and the Maoists, mainly in western and central India.

Even then, what evidently keeps the BJP going is Modi’s popularity which has made him the most dominant person in today’s politics, as Congress leader P. Chidambaram has said. Apart from the Prime Minister’s seemingly boundless energy and rhetorical skills, his advantage is that there is no one in the opposition camp who can match his wide appeal.

Not only that, his adversaries have undermined themselves by self-defeating moves as when Sonia Gandhi stalled the Manmohan Singh government’s forward march on the economic front by opting for extravagant populist measures, thereby handing over her own government’s development agenda on a platter to Modi. As Chidambaram ruefully admitted later, the government should not have taken “the foot off the accelerator of reforms”.

Similarly, Kejriwal came to power with the assurance of providing a clean government as promised by his one-time mentor, Anna Hazare, who pleaded for the setting up of a Lokpal, an anti-corruption ombudsman. But Kejriwal’s own internal ombudsman, Admiral L. Ramdas, had to leave the Aam Admi Party (AAP) for questioning the Chief minister’s authoritarian style, which also led to the ouster of the latter’s former allies, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan.

By the time Kejriwal had concluded the purge of his own party, it was clear that governance, whether a clean one or not, was not his primary objective, but an insatiable craving for power. Once this obsession became clear, it was obvious that his party’s days were numbered since the aam admi or the common man after whom the outfit was named had seen through his pretensions. The AAP’s defeat in Delhi was only to be expected, therefore, after its setbacks in Punjab and Goa.

Like Kejriwal, Nitish Kumar, too, has failed to live up to the expectations that he had aroused during his earlier stint as Chief Minister when he succeeded in ridding Bihar of the lawlessness — or the jungle raj, as it was called — which was rampant during the tenures of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders Laloo Prasad Yadav and his wife, Rabri Devi.

But now, as an ally of Laloo Prasad while Rabri Devi is calling for her son, Tejaswi, to be elevated from Deputy Chief Minister to Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar’s focus is somehow to hold on to power.

So, who will stop the BJP? Not only is there no one in sight, but there is little chance of the opposition parties being able to put together an anti-BJP combine because of their fractious internal relations.

Besides, they lack a forward-looking economic agenda which appeals to the young as Modi’s Make In India, Digital India, start-ups and other programmes do.

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Muslims need reservations to bring them out of the vote-bank menace

Telangana is witnessing different perspectives on the Muslim reservations bill. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination hosted by the United nations postulated (in Article 2.2) that affirmative action or reservations programs may be required of countries that ratified the convention, in order to rectify systematic discrimination.

Seven decades into independence instead of realizing Minorities as an integral part of the country they are still being considered as vote-bank. Congress and Communist parties managed to ensure to uplift minorities to a certain extent. BJP’s behavior in TS assembly during the passage of the Muslim reservation bill clearly displays the party’s future perspective. It is paving way for partisan politics. The saffron party called the move an attempt to pander to minorities. Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said it would be akin to creating “another Pakistan”.

The general Muslim aversion to the BJP still runs deep, evident from the voting pattern. Muslim vote-bank across the country did not vote in favor of BJP in the 2014 elections. Likewise, TRS did not have any alliance with Muslim parties and it lost in the places where Muslim voters are in majority. In the GHMC elections, TRS swam alone and could make their candidate as mayor. Neither in GHMC elections nor in Assembly elections did the Muslim vote bank support TRS. Despite the aversion, KCR went ahead in implementing the promises made in his election manifesto. In all his 179 speeches during elections, KCR mentioned about the Muslim reservation and subsequently is implementing everything as promised. But BJP is tagging it with religion.

The beauty of democracy is that all the people need to be treated equally by the party that comes to power. The government is responsible for the welfare of all the communities. From the very first elections not even one party received 40 percent voters support except for once. Leaders are forming government with votes polled by merely one third of the voters. However, all the leaders have been delivering their responsibility to all voters including the two fractions which did not vote. India has never witnessed a party favoring only a segment of its voters. But now the saffron party paved way to work only for the people who voted for them. It would be mockery of democracy if only those who voted will be given preferential treatment.

Muslim progress is not considered by the ruling BJP, all they speak is about protecting them. Even the leaders of their party in respective states are displaying the same attitude. BJP could get seats without alliance at the center and recently in UP. But it is known for its Hindutva affiliations. From past three years, instead of trying to shed the image, it has taken the route of constantly propagating that the minorities are trusting them. It is now cleverly trying to make inroads into the Muslim community by virtually dividing it on the basis of gender. Injustice will stop only when they are allowed to progress by creating equal opportunities. The women whom Modi targeted need to be educated and this will come when they have reservations to grow with more opportunities and become self-reliant. Their representation in educational institutions and employment should be on par with their share in Indian population.

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BJP protests against hike in Muslim quota


A day after the Telangana legislature passed a bill increasing the quota for backward Muslims, the BJP launched protests by laying siege to offices of district collectors across the state.

Terming the “religion-based” reservation as “unconstitutional”, Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and workers participated in the protests in all 31 districts.

Police arrested the protestors as they sat in front of office buildings and raised slogans against the government.

The protest at the office of Hyderabad District Collector led to tension. There was a heated argument between the police officers and BJP leaders.

Police personnel bodily lifted the protestors and detained them. Those detained included BJP’s national General Secretary P. Muralidhar Rao and member of Telangana legislative council Ramachandra Rao.

Muralidhar Rao slammed the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government for taking unilateral action on increasing the reservation quota for Muslims from 4 to 12 percent.

He said the bill providing reservation for Muslims was twice struck down by the High Court in the past.

The state assembly and council on Sunday unanimously passed a bill for hiking quota for Muslims and Scheduled Tribes.

All five members of BJP were suspended from the assembly for stalling the proceedings during the debate on the bill. Its lone member in the council staged a walkout.

Meanwhile, BJP’s Telangana unit President K. Laxman said the party would continue its protests.

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Pawan Kalyan urges southern parties to unitedly fight bias

Leading Telugu actor and Jana Sena party chief Pawan Kalyan on Thursday urged all south Indian political parties to join hands and fight what he said was the biased attitude of north Indian leadership.

He launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its former MP Tarun Vijay’s remarks about the skin colour of south Indians.

In a series of tweets, the actor-politician said the parties of south India should come on a common platform to get a better deal from the central government for their respective states and to fight the bias towards the region.

He agreed with CPI leader K. Narayana’s statement that in Tarun Vijay’s remarks, he saw a BJP agenda to bring about a south-north divide.

“Tarun Vijay’s demeaning racial remarks towards south Indians is a fine example of how the snobbish north Indian elites and political classes view our ‘Dravida Bharatha’ and its people,” he tweeted.

“To BJP leadership and to Tarun Vijay: We are in ‘Down South’ and we are foundation of this Nation, not your ‘Up North’ political leadership foot stand.”

Pawan also slammed the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), saying it had no right to compromise on the promised special category status with the Centre as the people of Andhra Pradesh brought TDP and BJP into power, trusting they would accord special category status to the state.

He urged the TDP not to mortgage the self-respect of the people of Andhra Pradesh for personal benefits.

The actor tweeted that it was quite disheartening to see central minister and TDP leader Ashok Gajapati Raju’s silence and absence of TDP MPs in Parliament when the discussion on special status to Andhra Pradesh came up.

“I think TDP MPs have forgotten the insult of their MPs getting beaten by North MPs in the parliament during the state bifurcation,” he remarked.

“Attitude of our political class (in Delhi). You put us down by our skin colour, we are ok, you mock at us by speaking in our Dravida tongue, we are ok; in Parliament you kick us, abuse us and divide us, we are ok. And we are ok to be slavish and subservient at the cost of our people’s self-respect as long as you do not deny us our contracts, business opportunities, bailing us out from our scams and wrongdoings.”

Pawan praised Yuvajana, Shramika, Rythu (YSR) Congress Party, saying its MPs were doing a commendable job in pursuing the special status issue with the Centre.

The actor, who campaigned for BJP-TDP alliance in the 2014 election, last year distanced himself from the coalition after the Centre refused to accord special status to Andhra Pradesh. He had since been targeting both the parties.

Last month, he announced that Jana Sena will contest 2019 the elections in both the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

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Five state Assembly ( UP , Punjab .. ) Exit Polls 2017


Uttar Pradesh , Punjab Exit Poll 2017

The exit polls results for the five states – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur have been announced. Though the predictions were not met recently for Bihar and Tamil Nadu elections they are not always wrong. However, for states like West Bengal, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry the exit polls have been accurate. Exit polls are known to give mixed results. Here is a look at the Exit polls for Uttar Pradesh , Punjab and other states and predictions from different channels –

State : Uttar Pradesh [403 seats]

[table “188” not found /]

State : Punjab [ 117 seats]

[table “189” not found /]

State : Uttarakhand [70 seats]

[table “190” not found /]

State : Manipur [60 seats]

CVoter : BJP 25-31 , Congress 17-23 , Others 9-15


State : Goa [40 seats]

Times of India : BJP  15-21 , INC 12-18 , AAP 0-4

India Today  :  BJP 15 , INC 10 , AAP  7 , Others 8

NewsX-MRC :  BJP 15 , INC 10 , AAP 7

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BJP strikes chord with Warangal voters


Normally, opposition parties bank on the failures of the ruling party in byelections. The byelection is generally fought to prove a point or two that the people are disillusioned with the ruling party. Every byelection is dubbed as referendum on the performance of the ruling party and Warangal is not a far cry. This is because, opposition parties are not in a position to the offer any sops like the party in power does. Warangal election bears testimony to this. Helpless Congress has been excoriating the TRS ,and its president and chief minister K Chnadrasekhar Rao thoroughly as in lieu of offering sops. As if the state leaders are not enough to do the job, T-Congress even deployed a team of central leaders to add new angle to the offensive.

On the other hand BJP chose an entirely different model to campaign for its candidate Pagidipala Devaiah. Though engaged in the slanging-match in campaign, BJP added a new dimension to its campaign theme ie TRS bashing. The party enjoys an enviable position of being opposition party and at the same time a ruling party. The party is an opposition party in the state, but at the centre it is the ruling party which gives an edge to the party’s campaign over others. BJP is exploiting it dual status to the hilt in Warangal byelection. On behalf of the party for the past few days, union minister for chemical and fertilizers, Hansraj Gangaram has been camping in the constituency. He started lavishing assurances on the people. He promised to the people of the constituency that the centre would develop the Warangal city into a second capital of Telangana if the party’s nominee P Devaiah was made an MP. Even though BJP is not in power in Telangana, as the ruling party at the centre, he said the BJP had the capacity to help the people of Warangal in more than one way. ” Warangal has already been included in list of cities the centre plans to develop into smart cities. Warangal will also find place in the schemes HRIDAY, AMRUT etc. Two trains connecting Telangana state, one from Kazipet to Mumbai and the another to Wardha will be flagged off after the byelection,” he said listing out many more central schemes that would benefit the Warangal. He urged the people of Warangal to vote in favor of Devaiah to pursue all these schemes and projects, which would enhance the status of Warangal into the second capital of Telangana. One can’t be sure of the outcome of the election, but Gangaram struck an instant chord with Warangal by using the term ‘second capital’ which the TRS could not do.

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BJP’s burning desire: power in AP and TS


Union minister  of state for home  Kiren Rijiju made apparent the BJPs long cherished dream of coming to power in Telugu lands, which, given the present political situation, look like a pie in the sky. The minister. who was in Hyderabad yesterday addressed BJP workers pf AP and TS at  party’s Telangana state headquarters, said the Telugu state should work as the gateway for the party to enter the South.

The minister called upon his party leaders from both the Telugu-speaking States to work towards forming governments in their respective States by 2019.

He stated  AP and Telangana were important states for BJP’s ‘growth’ in the South. He gave a clarion call from the meeting that parties in the two Telugu state work hard to make BJP a formidable force.

” Both AP and TS are  the most ‘potential States’ in South India where BJP can improve its base in the coming days, ” he said.

“Party leadership has a lot of expectations on AP and TS. We expect the party units in both the States to do well in the next general polls and help party grow in the South,” he told the  saffron brigade.

Recalling that during the term of previous NDA government, united AP had given seven MPs to the BJP, he said the party’s central leadership expects party units of both the States to break that record in the next polls. “We are expecting more MPs from AP and TS in the next general polls,” he added.
Kiren Rijiju, a Buddhist, praised Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu for naming the new capital city of the State after Buddhist centre ‘Amaravati’. “I am very glad that AP government has named its new capital as Amaravati. This is really great,” he added.

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The hidden Bihar-wish of beleaguered TDP


It is not for public, TDP circles are wishing in their heart of hearts Bihar to spring a surprise. The surprise is- a setback to Prime Minister Modi. They think a setback in Bihar would humble Prime Minister Modi and force him to think from others point of view.

Even since Modi won the 2014 election, all elections turned into Modi versus the other. BJP is no more. The Modi style of campaign also carried on with the chant “vote for Modi”. It clearly shows BJP days are gone. That is what pinching the TDP. In the days of BJP, under the leadership of Vajpayee and Advani, TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu was a pez zonovante. Modi’s too big a stature and his hubris is hurting TDP leaders and they are keeping silence only because any rupture with BJP would be a boon for YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who is waiting to join hands with Modi.

TDP is terribly upset over Modi’s style of participation in Amaravati function. He remained throughout the function reserved. This reticence caused some visible uneasiness in Naidu, which forced him to use the word “Sir” suppliants when he was requesting for liberal help for capital construction and the state. This is unusual of Naidu to get himself reduced to that level. The other point TDP leaders were upset was Modi’s repeated assertion that he would implement the provisions of AP Reorganization Act.2014, which they say it is responsibility of centre as the Act was made by the parliament of India. It doesn’t require a large heartedness of the Prime Minister, they argue.

The special status issue has made TDP unpopular. The charge that the TDP was not able to pressurize the centre because of TDP’s inability to fight with NDA for political reasons has stuck. The soil sample and Yamuna water the PM presented to Amaravati on October 22 has a become butt of a joke in Andhra politics. Everybody in TDP thinks, Prime Minister Modi has trivialized a humongous project of capital city construction with the matti and water.

“We are not able to come to terms. There is a feeling among the party leaders that Prime Minister Narendra Modi speech had humiliated a party which stood by it through thick and thin. But the PM dashed our hopes. We had hoped that he would at least announced some package if not on the lines of Bihar and save TDP the opposition onslaught,” a senior TDP leader confided in ‘telugu360.com’.

chief minister Naidu was so stupefied by the Modi’s reticence that he could not even utter the word Special Category State status. This situation where the state government compulsion to stand at the mercy of Prime Minister Modi has not impressed people in the state. Even though they are not buying the theory of ‘Special Status is not sanjeevani’ propounded Chandrababu Naidu, to diffuse the tension created by the demand, they admit that special status now has become an emotional issues. ” This is may turn against Modi and BJP and later against TDP, if no solution is found in time,” they caution the party leadership.

In this backdrop TDP leaders think a setback in Bihar would force Prime Minister Modi to treat all states equally and stop talking in terms of electoral benefits. They are thoroughly convinced that an NDA win in Bihar would make Andhra Pradesh being further disadvantaged and a setback would force the PM to realize Andhra Pradesh is also an important state, even though BJP is near absent.

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22 % Bihar candidates in Phase-1 have criminal record


Bihar Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analyzed the self-sworn affidavits of all 583 candidates who are contesting in the first phase of Bihar assembly elections, 2015.The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) was established in 1999 by a group of professors from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad. In 1999, Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by them with Delhi High Court asking for the disclosure of the criminal, financial and educational background of the candidates contesting elections. Based on this, the Supreme Court in 2002, and subsequently in 2003, made it mandatory for all candidates contesting elections to disclose criminal, financial and educational background prior to the polls by filing an affidavit with the Election Commission. We give the salient points of the report released today.

Highlights of the Analysis

Criminal Background

• Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases: 130 (22%) candidates have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, communal disharmony, kidnapping, crimes against women etc.Candidates with Criminal Cases: Out of all the 583 candidates, 174(30%) candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves.
• Candidates with cases related to murder: 16 candidates have declared cases related to murder (Indian Penal Code Section-302). Pradeep Kumar of the Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) fromWarsaliganj constituency has declared 4 charges related to murder while rest of the candidates face one charge each. 7 Independent candidates have declared cases related to murder.

• Candidates with cases related to Attempt to Murder: 37 candidates have declared cases ofattempt to murder (IPC Section-307). Ramswarup Yadav, an Independent candidate from Hisuaconstituency faces 5 charges related to attempt to murder. 1 candidate fielded by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), 1 by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 3 by JD(U), 1 by Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik) (JAP(L)) along with 1 Independent candidate have each declared 2 charges related to attempt to murder.

• Candidates with cases related to Crimes against Women: 11 candidates have declared cases related to crimes against women. Nityanand Kumar, an Independent candidate from Suryagarhaconstituency and Rajiiv Nayak, an Independent candidate from Jamalpur constituency have each declared1 charge related to rape (IPC Section-376) against them. Suman Kumar Singh, an Independentcandidate from Kahalgaon constituency has declared an offence of dowry death (IPC Section-304B).
• Candidates with cases related to causing Communal Disharmony: 2 candidates have declared cases relating to causing communal disharmony. Shakuni Choudhary of Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) from Tarapur constituency has declared a case related to injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class (IPC Section-295). Rambalak Singh ofJD(U) from Bibhutipur constituency has declared a case related to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (IPC Section-153A).

•Candidates with cases related to Robbery and Dacoity: 5 candidates have declared cases related to robbery and dacoity. Ram Lakhan Singh of BJP from Teghra constituency has declared 1charge each related to making preparation to commit dacoity (IPC Section-399) and assembling for purpose of committing dacoity (IPC Section – 402). Baiju Kumar Rai, an Independent candidate,from Ujiarpur constituency has declared 1 charge each related to dacoity (IPC Section-395), making preparation to commit dacoity (IPC Section-399) and voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery (IPC Section – 394).

• Candidates with cases related to Kidnapping: 9 candidates have declared cases related toKidnapping. 5 candidates have declared offence related to kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person (IPC Section-365), and 4 candidates have declared offence related to kidnapping or abducting in order to murder (IPC Section-364). 5 candidates have declared more than 1 charge related to kidnapping against themselves.

• Party wise Candidates with Criminal Cases: 14 (52%) out of 27 candidates from BJP, 14 (56%) out of 25 candidates from Communist Party of India (CPI), 8 (20%) out of 41 candidates fromBSP, 11 (46%) out of 24 candidates fielded by JD(U), 9 (50%) out of 18 candidates from Samajwadi Party (SP), 8 (47%) out of 17 candidates of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), 6 (75%) out of 8 candidates fielded byIndian National Congress (INC), 8 (62%) out of 13 candidates of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) along with 8 (67%) out of 12 candidates of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) and 45 (23%)out of 192 Independent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

• Party wise Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases: 10 (37%) out of 27 candidates fromBJP, 7 (28%) out of 25 candidates from CPI, 6 (15%) out of 41 candidates from BSP, 9 (38%) out of 24candidates fielded by JD(U), 7 (39%) out of 18 candidates from SP, 6 (35%) out of 17 candidates of RJD, 4 (50%) out of 8 candidates fielded by INC, 6 (46%) out of 13 candidates of LJP along with 5 (42%) out of 12 candidates of the CPI(M) and 38 (20%) out of 192 Independent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

•Red Alert Constituencies*: 37 constituencies in the first phase of Bihar assembly elections have 3 or more candidates with declared criminal cases.

*Red Alert Constituencies are those which have 3 or more candidates with criminal cases contesting elections.

Financial Background

• Crorepati Candidates: Out of the 583 candidates, 146 (25%) are crorepatis.

• Party wise Crorepati Candidates: 18 (67%) out of 27 fielded by BJP, 19 (79%) out of 24 candidates from JD(U), 11 (65%) out of 17 candidates from RJD, 6 (33%) out of 18 candidates fielded by SP, 6 (75%) out of 8 candidates of INC, 8 (62%) out of 13 candidates of LJP, 3(7%) out of 41 candidates of BSP and 42 (22%) out of 192 Independent candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore.

• Average Assets: The average of assets per candidate contesting in the first phase of Bihar assembly elections is Rs.1.44 crores.

• Party wise Average Assets: Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 27 BJP candidates is Rs 2.15 crores, 41 BSP candidates have average assets of Rs 1.63 crores, 24 JD(U) candidates have average assets worth of Rs 4.63 crores, 8 INC candidates have average assets worth Rs 8 crores, 17 RJD candidates have average assets worth of Rs 4.08 crores, the average assets per candidate for 18 SP candidates is Rs 78.27 lakhs, 13 LJP candidates have average assets of Rs 2.7 crores and 192 Independent candidates have average assets of Rs. 1.23 crores.

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BJP wants Pattiseema to be named after Chandrababu


Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday turned tables on YSRCP Congress by asking the party to state whether it would support the Pattiseema project or not. So far, YSRCP has been posing the irksome question to chief minister Naidu to tell the people whether he was supporting the special status of not.

Today, state assembly took up Pattiseema Project issue for the debate. As the opposition leader Jagan was away in Pulivendula to participate in death anniversary of YS Rasekhar Reddy, deputy leader J Nehru spoke on the subject. Elaborating on the benefits of Pattiseema project, being taken up on Godavari, Naidu said the project was meant to divert Krishna water to Rayalaseema, which is a drought prone area.
“We want transfer 80 TMC Godavari water to Krishna barrage. The water thus saved in Krishna will be transferred to Rayalaseema. Now tell if you are opposed to taking water to Rayalaseema which was the objective of Pattiseema, or not,” Naidu asked and wanted straight answer.

YSR Congress leader Jyothula Nehru found difficult to answer in clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ . He said his party was not opposed to linking of the rivers, but they were opposed to the way the project was being implemented. “We are opposed to the motive behind the construction of Pattiseema when Polavaram was to be taken up with more benefits. Pattiseema is not a irrigation project, but a money spinning project,” he said.

BJP floor leader, Vishnukumar Raju, who normally used to take critical stand against TDP on many issues, this time, became cheerleader of chief minister Naidu. He said as a civil engineer he knew more about Pattiseema than Nehru. ” It is amazing that the state government is able to finish the project in just eight months and one should appreciate the efforts of chief minister Naidu. Going an extra mile, he suggested to the house that the project should be named as “Chandranna Pattiseema scheme” to the cheers from the treasury benches.

Then Nehru described the BJP as the tail of TDP, which was objected to by Raju stating, BJP could cut tails of YSRCP if it wants. Chief minister also defended BJP stating that it was a national party and there was nothing wrong in Raju’s appreciation of TDP’s work.

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A case of better late than never


In a belated move, the Telangana BJP is planning a state-wide tour to campaign against the anti-people policies of TRS government. BJP state president G Kishan Reddy and BJLP leader K Lakshman announced this today. They criticized the lack of sense of priority on the part of the TRS government in implementing the project. “So, we want to put pressure on the government by mobilizing the people to take up the ongoing projects and complete them immediately, instead of going in for new projects,” they said.

“If the state government invests Rs 1,000 crore, four important projects in the water-starved Mahbubnagar district would be completed within a year. These projects can irrigate thousands of acres and help farmers come out of poverty, which is forcing them to commit suicides. Instead, the government is laying foundations stones for new projects with huge expenditure, ” G Kishan Reddy said.

“The government announced a whopping Rs 35,000 crore for the Palamur-RR lift irrigation project and is not willing to release just Rs 1,000 crore for four important projects in the district which are in the final stages of completion?” he wondered. Dubbing the TRS government `a government of words and not work’, Reddy said that “the chief minister has tendency to give assurances on stage during his tours and forgets the moment he leaves the venue.”

Reddy and Lakshman opposed the cheap liquor policy of the state government stating it was meant to serve the vested interests.

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