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Meira Kumar calls on police torture victims in Telangana jail


Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar called on Dalit victims of alleged police torture at a jail in Telangana on Monday.

Accompanied by state Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy and other party leaders, she visited the Karimnagar District Jail and met the youths who were allegedly tortured by police for setting fire to two sand-laden trucks in Rajanna-Sircilla district on July 2.

Later, she told the media that they were allowed to meet only four victims, although three others were lodged in the same jail. She said another critically injured victim was still in hospital.

Condemning the atrocities on the Dalits, she said the police beat up the youth and tortured them with electric shocks.

“They broke down while narrating the police brutality. They have also sustained internal injuries,” she said.

The Congress leader demanded that “false cases” booked against the victims should be withdrawn and those involved in torturing them should be booked under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

She slammed the central and the state governments for not initiating a probe into the incident.

Targeting the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government, she asked: “Is this the Telangana state we fought for?”

Meira Kumar demanded an end to the activities of the sand mafia.

The former Speaker said her party would raise the issue in Parliament.

Meanwhile, Sircilla town remained tense as a large number of policemen were deployed to foil a proposed public meeting by the Congress to protest the alleged police torture.

The district administration has denied permission for the meeting scheduled to take place on Monday evening.

Congress leaders have moved the Hyderabad High Court, challenging the restriction by the district administration.

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Figures don’t add up, so KCR refused to talk to Meira Kumar

Huge pink hoardings in Hyderabad welcomed NDA Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. UPA Presidential Nominee Meira Kumar visited Hyderabad on Tuesday and sought support from the local leaders. Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao refused to give an appointment to Kumar despite trying several times. TRS announced support for NDA’s presidential nominee but there is hardly any detriment in meeting Kumar, who was the speaker when the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization bill was passed in the Parliament.

KCR vehemently snubbed her and even avoided telephonic conversation, which is discourteous towards the first women Lok Sabha Speaker. Leaders have been circumventing her. If citizens meted out same treatment to the leaders who conduct door-to-door campaign during parliamentary and assembly elections, it will ease the burden on Election Commission. The action only proves that politics is eventually a numbers game and opportuneness and no longer about experience and services.

However, dynamics of politics is fluctuating. It may be recalled that Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy who once lost the presidential election but later won it unanimously. Kumar will be defeated in the numbers game, but questioning her candidacy and eschewing her is incongruous.

Former Lok Sabha speaker Kumar said, “Wherever I go, people tell me that I do not have the numbers. If I do not have the numbers, why don’t you round up the figures and declare the results? Why have the elections.”

Out of the fourteen Presidential elections, only in the seventh poll, Reddy won unopposed, due to the sudden death of serving President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. Also 36 candidates of the 37 who filed nominations were disqualified. Even in the very first election in 1952 Dr Rajendra Prasad defeated his nearest rival KT Shah with a margin of one lakh votes. In democracy competition is inevitable. The election also enlightens the winning candidate about the degree of opposition.

As per the constitution of India, a citizen qualifies to contest in Presidential elections upon completion of 35 years of age, and is eligible to become a member of Lok Sabha, without holding office of profit either at Center or states.

People have been targeting Congress for fielding a candidate with Dalit background. A law graduate, Kumar joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1973 and served at embassies in Spain, United Kingdom and Mauritius. She hails from a political family especially with her father Babu Jagjivan Ram being former deputy prime minister who is also prominent Dalit rights activist.

It is vicious that a woman competing for the highest post of the Indian democracy has to face denigrators more than her rival.

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.

TRS is scared of Rahul Gandhi: Uttam


Telangana PCC president N Uttamkumar Reddy said some sections in Congress were demanding that former speaker Meirkumar  be fielded from Warangal Lok Sabha constituency byelection as party candidate.

In a informal chat with media, Uttam said the names of former deputy chief minister Damodar Rajanarasihmha and former union minister Sarve Satyanrayana were also under consideration.

Stating that no final decision had been taken on the candidate, the PCC president said talks were still under way.

As part of the preparations for the Warangal bypoll,  party would organize mandal-wise meetings in the district from August 5 to August 14.

He accused TRS government of deliberately undermining the Indiramma Houses as the scheme was the flagship program of Congress government. ” We are organizing protests across the state,”he said adding that he would participate in the Huzurnagar program.

TRS government in Telangana was scared of Rahul Gandhi’s tour in Telangann and his proposed interaction of with student leaders  said TS PCC president N Uttmakumar Reddy.

He said  Telangana government was hurriedly issuing notification for recruitment various positions just because Rahul is slated to visit Hyderabad and other places in Telangana on August 21 and August 22.

Rahul’s tour had a salutary effect on the government, he added.

He said the former Sanga Reddy MLA Turupu Jayaprakash Reddy alias Jagga Reddy was scheduled to join Congress on August 17.

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.

Boon or Bane: Cong mulls over fielding Meira from Warangal


Congress is in dilemma over the selection of the candidate for Warangal parliamentary byelection.  The signals from 24, Akbar Road, New Delhi indicate that Congress is mulling over fielding former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar as the party’s candidate. But, it is unlikely to go  down well with the T-Congress.  Since Warangal is SC reserved constituency, Congress high command feels,  a national leader like Meira Kumar would give a tough fight to TRS nominee. Many in the party feel that local candidate alone would fare well than  imported Meira Kumar.

Logic behind Meira’s candidature

Party sources say Meira Kumar has many positive points. One, she chaired the Lok Sabha session when the house was debating the AP Reorganization Bill-2014. The argument is that she had ably controlled the house which otherwise would have had Lok Sabha derailed  leading to adjournment. It may be recalled that the bill was passed in unprecedented uproar amid the sprinkling of pepper spray by Congress MP Lagadapati Rajagopal (Vijayawada). The House was locked from outside and live telecast was discontinued. And the Bill was passed. Congress wants to show the high drama as the Meira Kumar’s support for Telangana and Telangana people should also reciprocate the gesture by casting their vote in her favor.  The second reason they are citing is her pedigree. She is the daughter of Babu Jagjivamn Ram, one of the greatest dalit leaders.  In 2014 she contested from Bihar’s Sasaram  and lost.

Some leaders see this as not a wise decision. Fielding local candidate banking on growing anti-incumbency against TRS government would be the right strategy, they say.

“This is not the right time to express gratitude to Meira Kumar. This election is politically very significant for the party as Congress has been fighting against TRS’ corruption. Winning the Warangal seat will enthuse the party cadre to work hard  to win the 2019 elections. The party has to think of fielding a local  candidate who has better chances of winning the seat,” said a senior leader.

However, TPCC working president Bhatti Vikramarkha Mallu told Telugu 360 that no final decision had been taken on the party candidate.

“Election is  too far away. The name of Meira Kumar is media’s speculation. The party will take a decision on the candidate after several rounds of talks in the party,” he said.

As the Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan accepted the resignation of TRS member Kadiam Srihari, who was inducted into T-cabinet, election commission is expected to set the process in motion any time.  Congress is also planning to bring Rahul Gandhi to Warangal next month to address a rally and  to officially launch the election campaign.

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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