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Row over casino in Andhra Pradesh refuses to die down


The row over a casino allegedly organised during Sankranti at a property owned by an Andhra Pradesh minister is refusing to die down with main opposition TDP on Thursday lodging a complaint with Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan with ‘evidence’.

Video clips and photographs of illegal casino organised at K. Convention in Gudivada, travel details of 13 women flying back to Goa and representations made to the DGP, Krishna district Collector, and other officials were submitted to the Governor by a delegation of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders.

The TDP claimed that 13 women who were brought for dances during the casino returned to Goa on January 17 and submitted the flight details of the women.

They handed over a letter by TDP chief and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to the Governor, demanding sacking of Civil Supplies Minister Kodali Nani and a comprehensive probe into the illegal activity organised during Sankranti celebrations.

The main opposition party also brought to the notice of the Governor the alleged attack on a fact-finding team of TDP during its visit to Gudivada last week and the alleged high-handedness of police.

Chandrababu Naidu also enclosed the report of the fact-finding committee with his five-page letter.

The TDP team was prevented from visiting the K. Convention Centre on January 21. The same day Minister Kodali Sri Venkateswara Rao (Nani) made a sensational statement that if it was proved that the casino was organised at a function hall owned by him, he would quit politics and commit self-immolation.

Kodali Nani, as the minister is popularly known, said like at all other places, cockfight and gambling was held at Gudivada during Sankranti.

BJP state chief Somu Veerraju and other leaders were also detained by police on January 25 when they were on their way to Gudivada following ‘Chalo Gudivada’ given by the party in protest against the illegal casino organised at the minister’s function hall.

A row erupted over the casino after some videos went viral on social media on January 16.

Opposition TDP and BJP have slammed the YSRCP government for bringing in casino culture into the state.

The TDP President sought the Governor’s intervention to sack the minister to ensure an impartial probe. He demanded an inquiry through an appropriate agency into the episode of illegal casino.

He said the fact-finding committee’s report clearly established that the minister was behind the conduct of casino. He alleged that the equipment for casino were procured illegally while all laws related to income tax and foreign exchange were violated.

Naidu claimed that the illegal casino was organised from January 14 to 16. He alleged that in addition to the gambling and betting, indecent exposure of women and vulgar dance was also promoted at the casino.

“The casino is not only against the Telugu pride and culture but is in direct contravention to the culture and ethos of people of Andhra Pradesh,” Naidu wrote.

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Jaipal Reddy calls KCR a ‘casino gambler’


For the first time, former union minister and Congress veteran S Jaipal Reddy today came out strongly against Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and accused the latter of resorting to political gambling. Jaipal, who used to describe state politics as too local for his stature, this time round, used choicest abuses against KCR. But, his language was too elitist and not easily understandable for the vernacular voter of Warangal Lok Sabha constituency. Jaipal, winner of the best parliamentarian award instituted by Parliament of India, excoriated the politics of KCR and TRS as surfeit of arrogance. ” There is one word in English which suits correctly to the politics of KCR- He is running Casino Politics- the politics of gambling. Casino politics involve high stakes. He wants to transform India and its democracy into Los Vegas. In this casino politics, you claim everything your own simply because you are the winner of stake,” he said.

Though Jaipal used an elitist language, the criticism is too serious. He was referring to Casino Capitalism, which was first used by Maynard Keynes, to convey immoral and insidious influence of an economic policies freed from restraint. ” KCR is applying casino politics to democracy. Since he won the election and formed the government, he thinks, he was at liberty to do whatever he likes,” Jaipal elaborated.

Jaipal Reddy addressed media at Gandhi Bhavan in connection with the Warangal by-election flanked by Congress leaders Narsimha Reddy, Mallu Ravi, Shravan Dasoju, Ponnam Prabhakar, Bikshmaiah Goud.
Referring to the claim of KCR that he had fulfilled 99 per cent of the poll promises, Jaipal said, ” KCR is the only chief minister in the Independent India who made most impracticable poll promises and broke them all.

Describing the KCR as arrogant politician and the Warangal by-election was the result of his arrogance, he averred and added that there was need to teach him a lesson. “You removed deputy chief minister T Rajaiah accusing him of corruption. But you had never revealed what Rajaiah’s corruption was, nor did you take any action against Rajaiah. It is incumbent on the government to tell the people about the corrupt practices of a minister if he was removed. Otherwise, people are forced to take this as your act of arrogance,” he remarked.

He said KCR had broken all his poll promises which include 3 acres of land for each dalit family, two-bed room house, loan waiver, KG to PG free education etc. He urged Warangal voters to defeat KCR. ” A defeat for KCR was necessary for the state, even though it won’t bring down the TRS government. But, it is needed because it demolishes the arrogance of KCR,” he said.

Stating that Warangal election was a straight fight between Congress and TRS, the former union minister said the defeat of TRS would be a referendum on his government and his programs.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.



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