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Andhra legislator Karimunnisa dies of cardiac arrest

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Mohammed Karimunnisa, a member of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council, belonging to ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) died of cardiac arrest here late on Friday night. She was 56.

According to her family members, she complained of uneasiness and was rushed to a private hospital, where she breathed her last around midnight.

They quoted doctors as saying that she suffered cardiac arrest. The YSRCP leader is survived by husband Mohammed Saleem and five sons.

Karimunnisa had some health problems and was under medication. She attended the Legislative Council session on Thursday and Friday. The legislator also met Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday.

On March 30, she was elected to the Legislative Council from MLAs quota for a six-year term. She was earlier elected as corporator to Vijayawada Corporation and was campaigning in the recent municipal elections for another term when Jagan Mohan Reddy surprisingly nominated her for Council.

Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed his shock over the sudden demise of Karimunnisa. He stated that Karimunnisa’s death is shocking as she had attended the Council session on Friday.

The Chief Minister conveyed his deep condolences to the family of the MLC. He said Karimunnisa made valuable contributions as a corporator belonging to Muslim community in Vijayawada and was elevated as MLC. He assured her family that he and his party will stand by them.

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Council crisis – 5 MLCs absent at TDLP meeting

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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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Too many hurdles for Jagan ‘Operation Aakarsh’?

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The ruling YCP wants to gain majority in the Legislative Council but it has got just 9 MLCs of its own. It has added another 2 MLCs from the TDP. So, the YCP so far could get 11 MLCs as against the total 58 members in Council. Unfortunately for CM Jagan Reddy, the main opposition TDP has got near brute majority as it has got 32 MLCs. This is after excluding the two TDP members who shifted loyalties to YCP. While Jagan got huge majority in the Assembly, Chandrababu Naidu nearly got the same advantage in the Council. As such, the YCP has no choice but to win over nearly 20 MLCs more from opposition parties. The YCP has to lure a minimum of 10 members more from the TDP itself.
Political analysts say that there are too many hurdles before Jagan Reddy to successfully implement Operation Aakarsh in AP Council under present circumstances. Immediate obstacle is that most MLCs of TDP are die-hard activists some of whom are there since the inception of the party in 1983. Council Chairman Sharif is one such leader. Another hurdle is the unfavourable numbers game. TDP still holds massive majority. Even the BJP and other opposition parties are not willing to support YCP under changed political situation. There is also a view that an anti-Jagan rule sentiment has already built up among the people because of his policies of demolitions, cancellations and political harassment. Can Ministers overcome all these hurdles to help Jagan in Capital shifting immediately?

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Any takers for YSRCP logic on dropping out of MLC polls?

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YSRCP announced that it is dropping out of the contest in by-elections to MLC elections from Kurnool (local bodies category). Actually the announcement surprised YSRCP cadre. With Silpa Chakrapani Reddy resigning to MLC post while leaving TDP before Nandyal by-polls, the seat fell vacant.

However Silpa Chakrapani Reddy confirmed that he or his party would not contest the MLC elections. He told he has resigned from the post on moral grounds and he doesn’t want to contest for the same post that he only has given up. Other YSRCP leaders alleged that the ruling TDP continues to ridicule the democracy with its corrupt practices. They told that they are staying away from the election race even though the party has good number of MPTCs and ZPTCs in Kurnool – just to uphold democratic values. YSRCP leader BY Ramaiah alleged that Telugu Desam Party managed to win the MLC seat twice by undemocratic means and made a mockery of elections although the YSRCP had a majority in local bodies. Finally, they emphasized that they are staying away from the elections just to save democracy in the state.

Though the YSRCP leaders are giving big statements like “to save democracy”, and making tall claims like “this is the seat we relinquished”, analysts say YSRCP had opted out of the contest as they are not in a position to win the elections. Moreover, leaders like Silpa are opting out only to avoid spending money on a losing battle. May be they want to save the money for 2019 general elections.

So, it is clear that YSRCP is staying away to save the face now, because after facing defeat in Nandyal and Kakinada, another defeat will definitely put YSRCP in embarrassing position yet again. So, obviously, no takers for YSRCP’s claims that they opted out of elections to “save the democracy” and “to uphold democratic values”.

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T-TDP leaders term MLC Deepak Reddy small fish

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Telangana Telugu Desham Party seems to be self-regulating itself. Even before TDP national president Chandrababu Naidu had a say about detention of MLC Deepak Reddy, the TTDP leaders said that there are plenty more fish in the sea while Deepak Reddy is just small one. While the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister is yet to respond on the incident, Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao said that after finding out all the details they will respond. It is apparent that TTDP is aware of the wrong doings of the MLC by terming him as a “small fish”.

It may be noted that after the arrest by CCS police, Anantapur MLC Deepak has been remanded to 14 days judicial custody and is shifted to Chanchalguda Jail. It may be recalled that KCR critiqued Chandrababu for having deceived the Telangana TDP and abandoning it last week. The TDP chief, said he would guide and lead the TTDP leaders as they are also working for the welfare of the people. Evidently, TTDP leaders preferred people over the guidance and leadership of Chandrababu.

TTDP president L Ramana also alleged that thousands of crores worth land is being encroached by chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s followers. Ramana asked the CM, to handcuff the trespassers instead of chaining the farmers who are demanding fair price.

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Silpa Chakrapani Reddy takes oath as MLC

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Vijayawada: Senior leader from Kurnool, Silpa Chakrapani Reddy, who won from the local body constituency in Kurnool last month, took oath on Monday. He took the oath in the chamber of Council chairman Dr A Chakrapani. Ministers Kalva Srinivasulu and Prathipati Pulla Rao, besides others congratulated and greeted Chakrapani Reddy on the occasion.

Chakrapani Reddy’s brother Silpa Mohan Reddy was also present when he took the oath. The sources said that Chakrapani Reddy is tipped for the Council chairman post, which is set to fall vacant by the end of this month as incumbent Chakrapani is retiring. It was on this promise that Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had tried to build truce between the Silpa and Bhuma families from Kurnool district. The two families are at loggerheads over the successor to the Nandyal Assembly constituency where by-election is to be held shortly following the death of sitting MLA Bhuma Nagi Reddy.

The two families are locked in a war now with Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya staking claim for his father’s seat to his family, while the Silpa family staked its claim for the Nandyal seat as Mohan Reddy contested the seat in the 2014 elections and has plans to contest in the next election. The Silpa family is not willing to give up the seat in any case, even on the sympathy grounds as it feels that the Bhuma family was already considered for the Cabinet berth on sympathy grounds.

Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had held two rounds of talks with the two families and their supporters before he left for US tour and had decided to delay the decision. It was during these talks that the Chief Minister had promised the Council chairman post to Chakrapani Reddy. However, the Silpa family was not ready to give up its claim for the Nandyal seat even if the Council chairman post is given.
As the Chief Minister is scheduled to return to the State in the next week and the Assembly is set for a two-day session later, it is to be seen whether Chakrapani Reddy would get the elevation or not. It is also to be seen how Chandrababu Naidu would resolve the issue of allocating the party ticket for the Nandyal seat working an acceptable compromise for the two families.

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Konda Murali of TRS wins MLC seat unopposed

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In a shocking development to the opposition parties, the ruling TRS won the first MLC in the this round of elections to the local constituencies of Telangana Legislative Council. Warangal TRS candidate and husband of party MLA Konda Surekha won the Warangal Local Bodies Constituency seat. He will be declared elected unopposed as all the candidates in the fray withdrew their nominations. Five independent candidates filed nominations for the seat. Opposition parties, including Congress and BJP-TDP distanced themselves from the election. However, Murali managed the independent candidates to withdraw their nominations as they did not have enough numbers to win the seat. Consequently, Konda Murali, former MLC of united Andhra Pradesh and former president of Warangal district cooperative central bank (DCCB) alone remained in the fray. So, the returning officer many declare Murali as elected unanimously by evening.

Originally, Congress member, Murali and his wife Surekha, joined YS Jagan’s party after the death of YS Rajasekhar Reddy. However, they could not sail with Jagan and differences cropped up between the Jagan and Surekha forcing them leave the party in rupture. Later, they joined TRS before the 2014 elections. TRS, as the ruling party is poised win majority of the seats of 12 seats for which elections are announced, as opposition parties do not have numbers to get the candidates elected. The elections are slated on December 27 for local bodies constituencies of Adilabad, Nizambad, Karimanagar, Medak, Rangareddy, Mahabubnagar, and Nalgonda etc.

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Baba Ramdev to take Yoga class to AP legislators

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TDP supremo and chief minister Chandrababu Naidu wants all his MLAs and other party leaders to be sound both physically and spiritually so that they could manage the affairs of the party and constituencies well. In the two-day party session held at Tiruapati last week, Naidu laid stress on this aspect and offered some tips to make them fit for mission 2019. Chief minister, a great believer in the spiritual power, had also organized a crash course for the bureaucrats and people’s representatives for three days in ‘inner engineering’ in January this year. Guru Jaggi Vasudev, along with 100 of his volunteers, taught yoga prakriyas and asanas to the CM, ministers, IAS, IPS and IFS officers and mayors etc. This was a first of its kind for any government in India. For three days the government was almost shut.

Now it is the turn of Baba Ramdev. The Yoga guru, who of late developed unusual proximity with the chief minister, is said to have agreed to give a crash one-day program on Yoga techniques for AP MLAs and MLCs tentatively on December 20. Ramdev was the country’s largest individual buyer of red sanders from Andhra Pradesh. Later during Godavari Pushkaralu, Ramadev was Naidu’s chief guest at Rajamahendravaramu. He is planning to develop a Yoga Village on the lines of university and health resort near Tirupati. He sought some land and the state agreed. According to sources, the program is scheduled for a day during the winter session of Assembly expected to commence from December17. It is going to be brief five-day session, according to sources.

Even though, Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao had earlier wanted to hold the winter session at Tullur in Amaravati capital region, his efforts did not take off because of lack of time. So, the session is being held in the Assembly of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad. During the session, Baba Ramdev is expected to spend a day with legislators from the state in a resort in the outskirts of Hyderabad. Sources said details are being worked out.

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Is DS Quitting Congress?

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Former minister, twice PCC president, a party veteran from Telangana, “D Srinivas is planning to leave the Congress. He may join TRS. Joining BJP is  also not ruled out.”

This is the talk in Gandhi Bhavan, the Telangana Congress headquarters, and in Nizambad, Srinivas’ home town. Ask any of his aides, pat comes the reply, “What is the option before him?”

The party is insulting him, they allege.

The man, who earned the moniker of “winning-horse” in the company of YS Rajasekhar Reddy  from Congress high-command in his heydays, is now persona non grata in 10, Jan Path, Sonia Gandhi’s residence in New Delhi. After the defeat of the party in 2014 elections many T-Congress leaders have fallen from the grace of  party high command. One such leader is D Srinivas, who is popular as DS. DS expected renomination to the Legislative Council this time. It did not happen amid changed equations.

“He was not only denied the MLC ticket, but had been thoroughly humiliated by the party. The party picked up Akula Lalita from his home district. DS was not all informed about the decision. In fact, Sonia Gandhi thought of re-nominating him. But, some leaders like Digivijay Singh influenced her against DS,” one of his close aides told telug360.com.

It was not the only instance where he was not consulted.  On many issues, he was kept out of loop and one such important occasion was Rahul Gandhi’s Telangana visit in May, 2015.  When Rahul was in Nirmal in Adilabad district, DS was not allowed to meet the party vice president. According to his aides, of late even Sonia Gandhi’s office is also not enthusiastic about arranging madam’s audience to DS. When he brought his predicament in state party to the notice of party president through some friends, she had reportedly informed him that such issues should be tackled at the state level. It is in stark contrast to the respect he commanded from 10, Jan Path some time back.  Sonia Gandhi used to summon him to Delhi even at the slightest disturbance in the party before the division of the state. He was the only leader from Telangana to have unrestricted access to 10, Jan Path. His clout was so much before the 2004 election that while appointing him as the PCC president for united Andhra Pradesh, the then AICC general secretary in charge of the state Gulam Nabi Azad described DS and YS as winning horses. Again in 2009, calling him a winning horse, party appointed him as PCC president for the second term. On both occasions he lived up to his moniker.

Now, DS, who has been with the party since his NSUI-college days, is now totally cut off from the party.

His bad luck he could not win any election since 2009.

This is the background of the talk about his imminent quitting of the party.

Talking to telugu360.com, a close aide of DS admitted that TRS was one option as relations with party do not seem to returning to normality.

“TRS has been inviting him for quite some time. The party has even offered him local body constituency MLC seat for which election are likely to be held soon,” they say adding that some time back, BJP sources also had contacted him. “BJP has big assignment for him in Delhi,” they claimed.

According the aides DS is waiting for some rapprochement. Because, the former APCC president is finding it very painful to severe a 40-year long bond with Congress.

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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.

Gali Back in Action and Raps KCR

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TDPs’ most voluble leader and MLC-elect Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu is back in action. He has been silent for quite some time. Ever since he was defeated  in 2014 by YSRC’s equally voluble Roja, Gali has been maintaining low key. Now that he has been elected from Chittoor district to Legislative Council, Gali has marked his reentry with an attack on KCR. On Thursday he took strong objection to KCR’s  meeting with nominated MLA Elvis Stephenson in his farmhouse. He accused KCR of influencing the cash-for-vote case through the complainant. “Stephenson is principal complainant. Can a chief minister hold a meeting with the complainant of case when it is in the crucial stage of investigation,” Gali asked. He said the whole episode of cash-for-vote reeks conspiracy and  KCR and Jagan had joined hands to hatch the conspiracy, he added. “When entire Andhra Pradesh was in thick of agitation for the implementation of Section 8, Jagan say the provision I  already in force. What does it mean? Are you in league of KCR in the campaign for the abrogation of Section.8 from AP reorganisation Act,” Gali said.

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