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Close Shave for Naidu and Ministers in Godavari

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Chief minister Chandababu Naidu had a close shave in Godavari river when a boat a carrying media people touched the boat in which the CM and other ministers travelling on Friday near Rajahmundry.

When the two boats were about to hit, the drivers tactfully averted and saved the VIPs from being caught in accident.

Naidu, who has been  singlehandedly overseeing the whole of Pushkar arrangements, left for Kotilinagala ghat from Padmavathi ghat in a boat. The mishap happened on way to Kotilingala. Along with deputy chief minister N Chinna Rajappa, ministers Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, K Narayana, MP Murali Mohan, MLA G Buchhaiah Chowdary etc were accompanying the CM.

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Cabinet takes light of the Pushkarala stampede

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Andhra Pradesh cabinet which met in Rajahmundry for four hours took light of the stampede on the first day of Godavari Pushkaralu. The four-hour long meeting, held in R&B guest house in the city, devoted a just minute silence to pay condolences to those crushed to death in the stampede reportedly caused by the delayed pujas by chief minister a ghat which not designated for VVIPs.

Though chief minister Chandrababu Naidu announced Judicial inquiry into the causes of stampede deaths, the cabinet is said to be in favor of an inquiry by a retired judge. State government is not keen on getting a sitting judge of High Court appointed for inquiry. I &PR minister, Palle Raghuntha Reddy indicated to this effect after cabinet meeting .  This is likely to trigger opposition from opposition parties  as they have been demanding a probe by a sitting judge of the High Court.

The meeting, chaired by the chief minister,  went gaga about greatness of Andhra Pradesh, the resources available and state government’s commitment to build a new capital with international standards. The cabinet decided to send a team to study to beautiful capitals of Central Asia, Astana (Kazakhstan)and Ashgabat (Turkmenistan).

The minister  said Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested that a team from state should  visit Kazakh and Turkmenistan capitals to study the architectural designs.  Palle said the state government was committed to build the capital with international standards. He said state would call upon Japan and Singapore to participate in the Swiss Challenge model to build the capital.

The cabinet called upon people of the state to celebrate the closing ceremony of Godavari Pushkaralu with state-wide participation in a grand way. The cabinet wants every family in the state to perform “deeparadhana” (lighting of lamp) as part of the Pushkara Jyothi to mark the closing of the Mahapushkaralu.

In a surprise turn, the cabinet fully backed TDP MLA Chintamaneni Prabhakar, who allegedly manhandled MRO Vanajakshi. Giving clean to chit to the MLA, the cabinet felt that the revenue official was at fault in not taking cognizance of the permission to mine the sand and for crossing the boundary of the district.

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Beggars at Pushkar Ghats: What is wrong and right

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With regard to the reports that CM Chandrababu Naidu asked official to keep the beggars away from Pushkaralu and reward them with Rs 5000 to compensate the loss due to restrictions on begging, former union secretary Dr EAS Sarma says this is wrong.

Dr Sarma has the following to say with regard to the beggars and Andhra Pradesh government.

  1. The State has the Constitutional obligation to identify and rehabilitate homeless beggars in cities and towns as per the landmark directive dated 5-5-2010 of Hon’ble Supreme Court in WP(C) 196/2001. The State government, in its affidavit filed in that case, had assured the Hon’ble Court that it would fully comply with that directive. Till date, the State is still dragging its feet in falling in line with that directive fully. As such, it is a matter of shame and a serious illegality on the part of the State government to have offered incentives to beggars to stay away from the Pushkarams. In a way, this amounts to an outright contempt of the court order cited above.
  2. Beggars are citizens like any one of us. Many of them have no alternative other than begging, as they are diseased, aged, handicapped, abandoned by their own children and so on. Though there are laws in existence, it is the State’s dismal failure to enforce those laws meant to safeguard such persons that has created space for beggary. To feel that beggars are not welcome at the Pushkaram ghats, where pilgrims often offer them alms and eatables, is to violate their human rights and hurt their pride and dignity.
  3. Beggars in the State are to be usually seen at religious places, hotels, railway and bus stations etc. The presence of beggars in towns and cities is a sad reflection on the policies of the government. Instead of addressing the root cause of beggary, the State apparently wants to hide it in its unfortunate ostrich approach to the societal problems.

Finally, Dr Sarma said it was the CM’s entourage that blocked the flow of pilgrim rush at the Ghats that resulted in an unprecedented stampede and loss of a large number of innocent lives. The Chief Minister’scontinued to stay at Rajahmundry, receiving foreign delegations, placing intense pressure on the local security personnel, the traffic and the utility services at the expense of the ordinary pilgrim and the ordinary resident of the town. He conveyed his views to the government of Andhra Pradesh by writing a letter.

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Naidu Generous to Beggars as well

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To keep Godavari Pushkaralu free of beggars chief minister Chandrababu Naidu asked officials to check the menace with attractive compensation scheme.

The beggars would be given Rs 5000 as compensation for withdrawing from ghats, according to media reports.  Nearly 1,000 beggars have been spotted begging amid the crowds of Pushkaralu ghats creating problems.

The state government announced the `compensation scheme’ along with free food for the beggars if them keep themselves away and confined  to their homes till July 25. However, the media reported that  locals posing as beggars at the Pushkarams ghats to get the”beggars’ compensation”  According to East Godavari collector H Arun Kumar chief minister Naidu had taken the decision to compensate beggars in an effort to curb disruptions that could be caused by them during the Pushkarams.

“A separate committee headed by the district joint collector was also set up to check beggar menace  during Pushkarams. We will provide the reimbursement to genuine beggars after due verification at the end of the Pushkarams,“ said Arun Kumar.

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A Tribute to River Godavari

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The river Godavari is described as sheer poetry in motion and many a poet is fascinated by it. It has not only inspired all writers of Andhra Pradesh and the region has produced some of the greatest poets in Telugu literature.

To begin with, the first known poet -`Adikavi’ Nannaya Bhattaraka belonged to this place and his translation of `Mahabharatha’ are the first as well as the best in Telugu literature. He was said to have been assisted by Narayana Bhattu who was also a luminary.

The great Srinadha who penned `Sringaranaishadham’ and Vemulavada Bhimakavi, known for ruthless criticism through poems, and the great reformer and writer Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu are unforgettable in Telugu history.

Pavuluri Mallana was said to be the first `science poet’ having described mathematics in poems, humour writers Chilakamarthi Lakshminarasimham whose `Gayophakyanam’ sold over one lakh copies in early 20th century and Bhamidipati Kameswara Rao, the poet-duos of Tirupati Venkatakavulu and Venkataparvateeswara Kavulu who enthralled audience by reciting poems extempore, Kokkonda Venkataratnam who was a writer and contemporary of Veeresalingam Pantulu and founded the Gauthami Granthalayam in Rajahmundry, Panuganti Lakshminarasimha Rao who wrote the caustic `Sakshi’ and Mokkapati Narasimha Sastry who wrote `Barrister Parvatisam’, short story writer Sripada Subrahmanya Sastry, Kokkonda Venkataratnam, Sripada Krishnamurthi Sastri, were natives of this region.

Among later generation of poets were Devulapalli Krishna Sastry, Devarakonda Balagangadhara Tilak, Madhunapantula Satyanarayana Sastry, Avantsa Somasundar, Ismail, and Addepalli Mohana Rao.

The prolific writer Kovvali Lakshminarasimha Rao who wrote as many as 1,000 novels and stories for films, another film writer Bhamidipati Radhakrishna, Ushasri, Sanskrit poet Chilukuri Ramabhadra Sastry, freedom fighter and writer Krovvidi Lingaraju all belong to this region

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Rajahmundry Becomes Temporary Capital of AP

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Following the stampede at Kotagummam Pushkar ghat near Rajahmundry on Tuesday, and chief minister Chandrababu Naidu wanting to personally oversee the Pushkara arrangements to avoid the repetition of such  mishap, Rajahmundry has become temporary capital of Andhra Pradesh.

As the chief minister Chandrababu Naidu  will remain there till July 25, entire administration has moved from Hyderabad to Rajahmundry. Already entire cabinet is camping in the city crisscrossing  the city in the name of overseeing the arrangements for  devotees at various ghat.

The chief minister believes that the stampede in which about 30 devotees crushed to death due to lack of proper planing and execution, he announced that he would remain in Rajaymundry till closure of the Pushkaralu.

Yesterday he made lightning visits to some pushkar ghat to see the arrangments and to interact with the devotees.

On Thursday morning, he reviewed the progress of  Polavaram and Pattiseema projects. Tomorrow he is going to Vijayawada to participate in the Iftar party hosted by Andhra Pradesh government.

Similarly, he asked the Singapore exports to come over to Rajahmundry  to present the master plan of the capital city Amaravathi.

Chief secretary IVR Krishna Rao, DGP Venkata Ramudu and other senior officials are operating from Rajahmundry.

So, Naidu is now also planning to hold the cabinet meeting  in Rajahmundry.

The previous cabinet meeting was held on July 4 and reviewd the arrangements for Pushkaras. It is said that CM reportedly expressed displeasure over tarday progress of the works in the meeting. It was in this meeting that that endowments minister Manikyal Rao reportedly told chief minister he was totally out of loop as far as the arrangement were concerned.

It is in this backdrop, Naidu once again wants to review the whole situation in the next cabinet meeting.

Of late, Naidu is holding a cabinet meetings once in fortnight. According to sources in the government, the meeting is likely on  next Tuesday or Wednesday  “The date has not been finalized yet. But, CM is planning to hold the meeting in a couple of days,” sources in the government told Telugu360.com.

 

 

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Judicial Inquiry Only to Save Naidu: Jagan

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Leader of Opposition YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said the judicial  inquiry ordered by the State was only to cover up the failure and misdemeanor of Chandrababu Naidu for ignoring the VIP ghat and opting for the main ghat to offer Pushkar puja.

“The inquiry is only to save the skin of the Chief Minister and to come out unscathed by making some officials as scapegoats and it serves no purpose. It is obvious that the incident occurred as the devotees were bolted for over three hours and the single entry was opened after Naidu left the spot,” YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said in Kovvur, West Godavari district, on Wednesday.

Had Chandrababu Naidu honored the protocol and took the bath at the VIP ghat the mishap would have been averted he said adding that since  he had ignored it, he should be held responsible for the death of more than 30 persons who died in the stampede.

“When the gates were opened after testing the patience of the devotees for over three hours, the surge was fast and furious and in the melee stampede occurred which claimed over 30 lives. Only Chandrababu Naidu should be blamed for the tragedy,” he said.

Had it been someone else, the person would have been jailed by now. He is directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths, he said.

 

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Sonia Expresses Shock over Stampede

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Congress president smt.Sonia Gandhi expressed shock over human loss in the stampede at Rajahmundry Pushkar Ghat this morning. She inquired about the situation over phone with  APCC president Raghuveera Reddy , former minister Chiranjeevi and Opposition leader in Legislative Council C.Ramachandraiah. She directed the congress cadre to involve in relief activities. She expressed her heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.

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Judicial Inquiry Ordered into Stampede

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Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu ordered judicial inquiry into the incident of stampede near a Pushiarala Ghat in Rajahmundry in which 27 devotees perished.

The incident disturbed the sacred fervor of the 12-day pushkaralu.

All opposition parties demanded resignation of chief minister Naidu as he was single handedly overseeing the arrangements of Pushkaralu for over a week.

In the light of widespread criticism, chief minister Naidu ordered Judicial inquiry, said a spokesperson of CMO. Details are awaited.

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President Condoles the Loss of Lives at Pushkaralu

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The President of India Pranab Mukherjee has condoled the loss of lives in a stampede at the Pushkarulu Ghat of Godavari River in Rajahmundry District of Andhra Pradesh.

In his message to E.S.L. Narasimhan, the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, the President has said “I am saddened to learn about the stampede at the Pushkarulu Ghat of Godavari River in Rajahmundry District of Andhra Pradesh, where a number of devotees have lost their lives and many others are injured. I understand relief and rescue operations are currently underway.

“I call upon the State Government and other authorities to provide all possible aid to the bereaved families, who have lost their near and dear ones as well as medical assistance to the injured.

Please convey my heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. I wish speedy recovery to the injured persons.”

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CM Should Quit on Moral Grounds: Jagan

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Blaming Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu responsible for the stampede in which many devotees were crushed to death at the Pushkar ghat, YSRC president and Opposition leader  Jagan Mohan Reddy demanded he  should quit on moral grounds.

“Though  Saraswathi ghat was reserved for VIPs, Chandrababu Naidu opted to offer puja at the main Pushkar ghat and it was blocked for two-and-a-half hours for the devotees. When the barricades were removed there was sudden surge as the devotees were waiting for long,” he said in Rajahmundry on Tuesday. Upon coming to the news of stampede Jagan immediately rushed to the Rajahmundry.

There was no need for Chandrababu Naidu to be at the pushkar ghat which is meant for general public he said adding that just for the sake of publicity  he opted to offer puja at the main ghat so that he would seen by general public.

With Chief Minister at the main ghat, he said, the officials became over cautious and blocked all the ways as devotees, who came for far of places became restless as it was 2.5 hours after sunrise and there was no let up by the officials.

“Once the barricades were opened they rushed in like a surge resulting in the stampede in which scores are killed and injured,” he said.

“The ordering of a judicial inquiry is just an eye wash. You cannot bring the thousands of visiting devotees as witnesses. Chief Minister should own responsibility and quit,” he said.

 

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Pawan’s Condolences to Stampede Victims

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Janaseana president and movie star Pawan Kalyan expressed condolences to the families of those who perished in the stampede that took place in Rajahmundry this morning.

Pawan Kalyan Tweeted that he was deeply shocked by the gory tragedy.

Though, he wanted to be among these people at this hour of tragedy, he was refraining to rush to the Pushkara town as his presence would dislocated the relief activities, he Tweeted.

Pawan called upon his Janasena volunteers to partake in the activities and extend all the help.

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Own Up Responsibility & Resign: Chiru Tells Naidu

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Grieving at the unprecedented deaths in the stampede at Godavari Pushkaralu this morning, Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Chiranjeevi demanded that CM Chandrababu Naidu should resign owning up responsibility for the poor arrangements and his inability to organize the Pushkaralu in an orderly way.

He  squarely blamed chief minister Naidu for the tragedy in which about 27 people were killed.

He said Naidu’s key adviser of Pushkaralu was inexperienced  and was lacking in administrative capabilities hence these accidents.

“Tears do not wipe off your responsibility and culpability” he told Naidu.

The incident exposed the inability and irresponsibility of the government. ” Even though the CM publicised to celebrate the Pushkaralu on the lines of Kumbh Mela, but it lacked any scientific plan and execution,” he said wondering.

“That the tragedy struck at the very first hour of the commencement of Pushkaralu was indicative of the failure of the government on all counts,” he said asking what did CM Naidu do the all these days visiting Rajahmundry frequnetly when the arrangements were not in place.

“This is the result of the CM appetite  for propaganda rather than concrete commitment to ensure the success of the Puskharalu” Chiranjeevi said.

Chiranjeevi took strong objection to the CM style of functioning.  He said the CM tied down all the officials in numerous review meeting preventing them from doing the works assigned to them.

Referring to BJP leader Kanna Lakshminarayana’s statement that Pushkarala arrangements were not up to satisfactory, Chiranjeevi said the statement was proven correct.

The former union minister expressed displeasure at how endowments minister Manikyal Rao was sidelined in the run up to the Pushkaralu.

” TDP leaders themselves vouchsafed that everything is being overseen by CM himself and no need to consult other cabinet colleagues. When the CM is alone responsible for the arrangements, he should own up the failure and step down,” he demanded.

Chiranjeevi recalled how Chandrababu Naidu demanded resignation of the then chief minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy  when some people died in the stampede at the time of Krishna Pushkaralu.

Naidu should question his conscience in the light of his previous demand and take a decision on the resignation, he said. Chiranjeevi  said Rs 5 lakh exgratia was pittance compared to the loss of lives and  demanded  an exgratia of Rs 20 lakh for the bereaved families.

APCC president N Raghuvira Reddy also joined Chiranjeevi in demanding resignation of  Chandrababu Naidu.  They said a Congress team  will visit  Rajahmundry today to console the families of those who died in the stampede.

 

 

 

 

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Tragedy Struck AP Pushkaralu: 35 Killed

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Tragedy struck   Godavari Pushkaralu in Andhra Pradesh. On the first day, as pilgrims thronged the pushkar ghat in Rajahmundry in crowds, stampede took place  resulting in the death of 35 people.  The stampede began at 9.30 in the morning. About 60 injured.

There has been  no announcement of death toll officially from the government.

The tragedy exposed the unpreparedness of the government machinery to meet such an eventuality.  Most of the deceased are women.  According to information reaching Hyderabad, death toll is likely to go up.   This happened at the ghat where  chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu was taking  holy dip. CM has been camping at the Rajahmundry and reviewing the arrangement. After the incident, no minister is daring to visit the stampede venue as they fear attack from the angry pilgrims.

While the stampede created disorder, pilgrims complain the disorder at the ghat had resulted in the stampede. Many complain the toll-free service numbers were out of order. In the melee many children are said to have got lost in the crowds.

People said police had started stopping the pilgrims since 4.30 in the morning because of VVIP presence at the Kotagummam Pushkar ghat, the place of the tragedy.

According to  a visitor, the stampede took place because of VVIP menace. ” To allow chief minister take holy dip in Godavari, security personnel closed all gates in the morning. During the interregnum thousands of pilgrims  reached  and gathered at the venue and found no gate was open to them. After some time, when the CM’s offerings were over, the gates were opened for the public. When the officials opened the first gate, all pilgrims, who gathered there in great number, rushed to enter through first gate  leading to stampede” a  visitor told media.

The incident happened on the steps of the ghat leading to the river. When people ran towards ghat, women got stuck and fell on steps. There were crushed to death, officials said.

“Apparently many devotees who reached after night long travel wanted to take holy dip morning. Buth they were stopped  because of VVIP puja as part of the inauguration of Maha Pushkaralu. Sleepless travel coupled with a long-wait since early in the morning might have caused exhaustion. And in the stampede these women were subjected to suffocation causing their death,” an official told Telugu360.com from Rajahmundry control room.

The bodies and the injured rushed to the hospital with great difficulty.

Situation at the hospital in the city is tense with family members crying inconsolably at sudden death of their dear ones.

Officials have identified some bodies. They are Budhavarapu Lakshmi ( Endagandi. E.Godavari),Gorla Gangamma ( Pendurthi ,Visakha),Ratnam (Yanam),Desineni Krishnakumar (Vemagiri. E. Godavari)Paramma ( Badangi, Vizianagara dist),Appalaswamy (Bobbili),Krishnaiah (Yanam),Narsmma (Srikakulam),Venkataiah Naidu Janakamma (Nellore),Parvatamma ( Vizianagaram),K Kalavati (Srikakulam),Paturi Amaravathi(Amudalavalasa),Venkatalakshmi (Rajahmundry) and Narayanamma( Tuni)

Relief commissioner Reddy told Telugu360.com that a woman died while taking dip in river. This, he said, was not related to the stampede.

Rs 10 Lakh Exgratia

CM Cries

Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu announced an exgratia of Rs 10 lakh to the family of those who died in the stampede.

Speaking to the media, the CM said the unfortunate incident took place despite every precautionary measure. Tears welled up from his eyes when he was talking to press people.

He said he would stay put in Rajahmundry till the last day of Pushkaralu.

“Maha Pushkaram will take place till July 25. People can take holy dip in any of these 12 days. I request people not to rush to one single ghat” CM asked the people.

Chief minister Naidu urged the pilgrims to observe restraint as the government was trying to take control of the situation. He said the government would come to the aid of the bereaved families. He promised  all medical help to the injured.

He said the stampede  occurred when all the pilgrims tried to enter from same gate  ie gate one.

Naidu himself is overseeing the arrangements of the Pushkaralu. Al the injured have been shifted to Rajahmundry hospital.

The stampede resulted in traffic jam in the city.   The life in the city has gone haywire. According to pilgrims, the road leading from Bommuru to Rajahmundry has witnessed terrible traffic jam since 8.30 in the morning. No cops were seen there around to clear the  vehicles that stuck in the traffic.

Health minister Kamineni Srinvas visited the hospital and inquired about the treatment being given to the injured.

” The pilgrims reached  in unexpected numbers. And all tried to enter the ghat from the gate  resulted in the stampede. The incident was unfortunate,” the minister said.

Prime Minister Mody Dismayed

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed pain at the loss of lives due to stampede at Rajahmundry. He Tweeted that he spoke to Naidu and said state government was  working to bring normality.The Prime Minister expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased.

KCR Shocked

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao expressed shock at the stampede that resulted in the scores of death. He expressed condolences to the  bereaved families.

Jagan leaves for Rajahmundry

Opposition leader and YSRC president YS Jagan  left for Rajahmundry from Hyderabad. He expressed shock at the tragedy that struck the Pushkaralu.

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Miss-call Response to Pushkara Pilgrims

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Andhra Pradesh government has launched “Missed Call to SMS information on Godavari Puskharalu 2015” service  to provide  real-time updates to pilgrims on Godavari Maha Pushkaralu.

Citizens can just give a miss-call to toll free number 8333000020. The call will be disconnected, and the citizen will receive an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) call.

Over the call, the user can get real-time information on Pushkar ghats, temples, hotels, road and rail network and other emergency details. Later, an SMS will be sent  to the individual based on the information sought during the IVR call.

In addition, 25 Pushkar Information centers are positioned at strategic locations in the vicinity of ghats. These centers are equipped with an automated Kiosk machine and free internet facility to seek information on the availability of banks, ATMs, hotels, Pushkar Ghats, emergency contacts etc. The automated kiosk also helps citizens to navigate to a specific place.

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Pushkaralu Full of Corruption : Kanna

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Exposing uneasy relationship  between the  Bharatiya Janata Party and ruling Telugu Desam party, former minister and BJP leader Kanna Lakshminarayana made a scathing attack on the government that Godavari Pushkara arrangements were reeking of corruption everywhere.

Kanna’s hard talk is sure to rustle Telugu Desam jimmies as the ruling party has never expected such discontent spring from state BJP.

Even though a section in the BJP feels  that TDP is not accommodating the  party workers at any level,  state BJP leadership has never allowed this grow to the level of causing discomfort in the alliance in the state. There has been a gulf between the group unhappy with TDP and BJP  state leadership which has cordial relationship with the TDP leadership. Kanna’s outburst is indicative of  tension building up in the party.

Today,Kanna, along with local BJP leaders visited many Pushkara Ghats in and around Rajahmundry.

“Nowhere are the works of Pushkaralu up to satisfactory. Except the main ghat in Rajahmundry which is often visited by chief minister Chadrababu Naidu  , Ghat works are incomplete everywhere. At a particular ghat I visited not even 10 per cent of the total works have been completed. Out of the estimated cost of the Rs 42 lakh, the works completed would not cost more than two lakhs,” Kanna said.

He said  there was more hype than the substance in the government’s Pushkara campaign.

” It is unfortunate that corruption has crept into the sacred works of Godavari Pushkaralu. Government should ensure that the event which should remain the symbol of Telugu people pride and culture be free from corruption,” he cautioned the government.

Kanna, who is now camping in Rajahmundry, took strong objection to the marginalization of the BJP minister Manikyala Rao in the chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s cabinet.

“He has been kept in the dark with regard to the decisions related to the Pushkaralu. He is not being consulted in the works and programs, even though he is minster for endowments,” Kanna said.

Kanna was also critical of chief minister Naidu’s stance in the case related to MRO Vanajakshi who was attacked Dunduluru MLA Ch Prabhakar.

“Naidu appears to be working towards striking a deal. It looks like he is biased in favor of his party MLA,” he said adding that it would not instill confidence  among the woman officers in the state.

However, home minister Nimmakayala Rajaiah, dismissed the remarks of Kanna as baseless.

” Kanna is not aware of full scale of works and mechanism in place to watch the quality of the works,,” he said. According to the minister, a JNTU team was on the job of verifying the works for their quality.

Rajahmundry MLA Gorantla Buchhaiah Chowdary said the question of sidelining the endowments minister doesn’t arise as the CM Naidu himself in overseeing every work.

 

 

 

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KCR to take holy dip in Godavari Tuesday

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Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will take a holy dip in Pushkara-Godavari on Tuesday morning in the Ghat set up at Dharmapuri in Karimanagar district.

He is arriving there on Monday and stay put till Tuesday.  This is for second time Rao is visiting Dharmapuri in the past 10 year.  He first visited the temple town on the banks of River Godavari in 2003, amid the Telangana struggle, to take the blessings of presiding deity Lakshminarasimha Swamy. According to Endowments minister A Indrakiran Reddy, the Rao, vowed to visit againg the temple and for a holy dip in 2015 after achieving the statehood to Telangana.

“Now the dream of Telangana separate state has been realized under his leadership, the CM is vising Dharmapuri again to express his gratitude to Lakshminarasimha Swamy,” the minister said.

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Official Song of Godavari Maha Pushkaralu

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Naga Sadhus to Electrify T-Godavari Pushkarlu

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In an effort to enhance the sacredness of the event and impart Kumbha Mela stature to the Godavari Pushkaralu, Telangana government is inviting huge number of Sadhus from Himalayas to state during Pushkaralu that are set to commence from July 14. It is for the first time that the Sadhus are participating en masse in Pushkaralu. Normally, they are seen only at Kumbha Mela.

State government is making elaborate arrangements to make Godavari another ritual destination for the Sadhus, who live in Himalayan shrines and caves. These Sadhus are invited to take a holy dip in River Godavari at Bhadrachalam, Khammam district.

The state government is expecting about 1500 Sadhus to visit Pushkara Ghat at Bhadrachalam. According to N Sivasankar, Endowments Secretary, the Telangana government has released Rs 1.50 crore to provide amenities to Sadhus. Government is making special arrangements for their stay in the outskirts of temple-town Bhadrachalam.

If the Sadhus feel happy, they spread the word among other Sadhus and their visit to Godavari would be a regular pilgrimage.

Endowments minister Allola Indrakaran Reddy said Naga Sadhus had already met him and R& B minister Tummala Nageswara Rao, who is from Khammam district discussed about their participation.  He said Sadhus would partake in Pushkaralu and perform special pujas.

Few words about Naga Sadhus: Incidentally, the Naga Sadhus are Shaivite saints and reside in Himalayas. Except on the occasions like Kumbha Mela, they seldom visit world outside. Godavari Pushkaralu is going to be their second occasion to present themselves to people of India. Holding trishul (trident), the Sadhus smear their bodies with  vibhudhi (ash) and sport thick coils of matted hair like Lord Shiva. Even in Himalayan winter, they live naked.

It is not yet known yet what rituals they are going to perform at Bhadrachalam ghat. Their activities are set to become special attraction of T-Godavari Pushkaralu

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