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Naidu differs with Stalin, says PM candidate be decided after polls

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday differed with DMK leader M.K. Stalin’s stand on projecting Congress President Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate of opposition for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, saying that candidate should be decided after the polls.

“My stand is…post-election we’ll decide. I made it very clear, we should not announce a candidate today,” Naidu said at the “India Today Conclave South 2018” here.

Stalin had last week proposed Gandhi as the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate at a rally in Chennai.

The rally was attended by Naidu apart from several other opposition leaders.

Naidu has made efforts to bring opposition parties together against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

His Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had left the NDA earlier this year. The TDP had allied with the Congress and two other parties in the recent state election in Telangana but the alliance was defeated.

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KCR showing signs of nervousness: Rahul

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao was showing signs of nervousness and exuded confidence that the Congress-led People’s Front will win Friday’s Assembly elections hands down.

Addressing a joint news conference with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N. Chandrababu Naidu and leaders of other allies here to wind up the poll campaign, he said the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief’s body language and his comments show that he was nervous and insecurity was building in him.

“He was quite abusive yesterday. He abused a couple of people earlier too and made comments like people of Telangana are not mature and they have no understanding. He also said he is going to take rest. All these are signs of reality coming to him.”

Gandhi said Telangana would be run by people of Telangana with the spirit of youngsters who sacrificed themselves for Telangana.

On who will be the Chief Minister, the Congress leader said discussion on this would start after achieving the goal of removing KCR from power.

“Five years ago people of Telangana had seen a dream and a vision. We are excited to finally start making that dream come true,” he added.

Gandhi alleged that the experience of Telangana over last five years had been betrayal of the dream of people of Telangana especially youngsters, who expected a modern state with new way of doing things but they instead got corruption.

Naidu said they were able to establish hope among people. He said Telangana was one of the best and rich states with excellent eco-system but it was totally spoiled.

“If we put it on right track, the benefits will go to the common man, the farmers, students and the unemployed.”

The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister termed as false propaganda the allegations by TRS that he was trying to stall the irrigation projects in Telangana. He pointed out that all projects except one were started by him and continued by the previous Congress government.

Naidu said while Prime Minister Narendra Modi was creating hatred between Hindus and Muslims, KCR was creating a rift between people of two states. He made it clear that he will have no say in the running the government in Telangana.

The TDP chief said all issues including sharing of river water between the two states could be solve amicably.

Rahul Gandhi said if voted to power People’s Front would focus on creation of employment and addressing the problems of farmers.

“KCR and Modi treated farmers as liability. We are absolutely convinced that farmers are the biggest assets and they need to be treated with respect. When Modi waived off Rs 3.5 lakh crore debt of 15 persons, people are asking why can’t he waive farmers’ loans? We are committed to do it in Telangana.”

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Why was Raghuveera shocked at CBN-Rahul first meeting?

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It was after AP CM Chandrababu Naidu first met AICC president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi that the ground was set for Prajakutami’s effective functioning in Telangana. But that first meeting happened after a lot of speculation in political circles and it was something of a shock to AP Congress Committee president Raghuveera Reddy. In his view, something unthinkable had happened and it took a lot of time for him to recover from the shock.

Then on, Raghuveera found out what actually happened at the top leaders’ first meeting and what made Rahul get convinced over alliance in Telangana polls. It was Chandrababu who took the initiative and who told Rahul that no national or regional party will get more than 40 to 50 seats if they contest alone. Then it would be difficult to get power as the magic figure of simple majority is 60 in the 119-seat Assembly.

Raghuveera shared these details during one of his visits to Anantapur district when somebody asked about how Prajakutami alliance could be possible in Telangana. As dutiful leaders of the party, all Congress leaders had simply gone by the command of Rahul to work together with the TDP to bring pressure on the TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao. The Congress leaders are no doubt in a happy mood after seeing the good results in their joining with allies that is proving to be a big challenge to KCR in present polls there.

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KCR son’s assets went up 4,000 times in 4 years, says Rahul

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AICC president Rahul Gandhi had an election tour in Nizamabad district when he continued his stinging attack on CM Chandrasekhara Rao and his family. He said KCR son’s assets have gone up by over 4,000 times in the past four and half years while the state’s development has gone backwards under TRS rule. Rahul deplored the state’s fortunes took a bad turn despite the fact that Telangana was handed over Rs. 17,000 crore surplus budget at the time of formation of separate state.

Under the KCR regime, the wealth of Telangana was not used to improve the livelihoods of its people but rather CM’s family members have increased assets several folds, said Rahul. He further said the separate state was formed to meet the larger aspirations of people for water supply, job opportunities and funds for development but nothing of this became a reality because of the misrule of KCR.

Rahul alleged that unprecedented corruption took place in the name of redesigning of irrigation projects and the redesigned cost increased by Rs. 40,000 crore for just renaming Pranahita Chevella as Kaleswaram which was all to benefit one single family in the state. He deplored while the assets of KCR son went up, ordinary public suffered the most as not a single student got fee reimbursement under TRS rule.

Rahul asserted immediately after coming to power, Congress government will waive Rs. 2 lakh loans for every farmer with immediate effect and support price would be given for 17 crops as announced.

G.Ravikiran

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Rahul targets KCR over corruption, assures farm loan waiver

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Accusing Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) of enriching his family at the cost of Telangana, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday promised farm loan waiver and employment for youths if the Congress-led Peoples Front won the Assembly elections.

Campaigning for the Congress-led coalition here in Jayashankar Bhupalpally district, Gandhi simultaneously targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and KCR for crony capitalism and denying rights and protection to tribals and farmers.

“Modi at the Centre and KCR in the state diluted laws meant to protect the land of tribals. The result is tribal land is being snatched for industrialists without proper compensation. Despite having so much land and forest, tribals here have no protection and their rights are consistently trampled upon,” said Gandhi.

He said the only job KCR government had done is renaming old Congress government projects and inflating their cost to enrich the Chief Minister and his family and friends.

“Wherever you go you can see how your Chief Minister has indulged in corruption. He had promised jobs to two lakh youths but the only one to get the benefits are his family and friends,” said Gandhi, while accusing KCR of plunging Telangana into debts.

“When KCR became the Chief Minister, Telangana had a surplus of Rs 17,000 crore but today it is reeling under debts of over Rs 2.5 lakh crore.

“On one hand KCR is burdening every family with debts, on the other hand his son’s income has grown by over 400 per cent,” said Gandhi, referring to KCR’s son K.T. Rama Rao whose annual income has increased from Rs 29 lakh in 2014 to around Rs 74 lakh in 2018.

Claiming that over 4,500 farmers committed suicide during the KCR regime, Gandhi pledged to cancel farm loans to the tune of Rs 2 lakh each and giving minimum support price (MSP) for 17 crops including Rs 2,000 for paddy, Rs 7,000 for cotton and Rs 10,000 for chillies.

He also promised setting up 30-bed hospitals in every subdivision and giving Rs 5 lakh to eligible families to build houses. He also assured setting up a tribal university in the state and preventing the privatisation of the Singareni coal mines.

“Without protection of farmers and jobs to youth, a state cannot progress. KCR made only promises but never bothered to fulfil them,” said Gandhi.

Ridiculing KCR for not fulfilling the promise of building 22 lakh houses, Gandhi said it was time for the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief to take rest in his “Rs 300 crore” house and let the Congress-led coalition work for the state.

Besides the Congress and Telegu Desam Party, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) are constituents of the People’s Front.

Elections to the 119-member Assembly are scheduled for December 7.

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Hyderabad’s growth hit roadblock under TRS: Rahul

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday alleged that the development of Hyderabad hit a roadblock during the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)rule.

Speaking at a road show of “People’s Front” in the city on Wednesday night, along with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, he said the pace at which the city should have developed in the last five years had not developed as the wealth of the entire state went into the hands of one family.

Gandhi came down heavily on Chief Minister and TRS President K. Chandrashekhar Rao.

He said Hyderabad had rapid growth and became famous across the world, thanks to the efforts of Naidu and Congress party.

He recalled that after the defeat of TDP in 2004 elections, he had acknowledged the role played by Naidu in the development of Hyderabad as an information technology hub.

Gandhi said Hyderabad was famous world over for the unity and brotherhood among its people. “The city doesn’t belong to people of one community or one region. Its doors are open for all. People live here in peace and harmony.”

The Congress chief said the harmony and brotherhood among people was facing threat from Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he was busy in dividing people and pitting one community against other and one state against other.

Naidu, who was Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh from 1995 to 2004, recalled his association with Hyderabad. He said even TRS chief K. Chandrashekhar Rao and his son and daughter admitted that the credit for building Hyderabad as IT hub goes to him. He wondered why they had now turned against him.

The TDP chief pointed out how he worked to build Hyderabad as the IT destination by bringing Microsoft and other global players to the city and developed the infrastructure.

Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) leader M. Kodandaram and leaders of the Communist Party of India (CPI) also addressed the road show.

The Congress, which is leading the four-party People’s Front, is contesting 94 seats in 119-member Assembly. TDP has fielded candidates in 13 constituencies. The TJS and the CPI are contesting the remaining seats.

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KCR has finally become ‘Commissions Rao’, says Rahul Gandhi

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AICC president Rahul Gandhi addressed a series of election meetings in Hyderabad city limits when he made an attack on both PM Modi and CM K Chandrasekhara Rao. He described KCR as ‘actually Commissions Rao’ who has resorted to mind-boggling corruption instead of developing separate Telangana. He asked why KCR is silently supporting Modi’s anti-people policies at the national level.

Stating that a big battle is being waged in Delhi now, Rahul told a meeting at Nampally that there are BJP and RSS on one side while all the remaining parties are on the other side. When such a national level, intense battle is going on, it is not understandable why KCR is take the side of Modi, said Rahul. He accused TRS of having supported Modi with regard to the controversial demonetisation, implementation of GST and various other policies.

Terming Telangana polls as not an ordinary polls, Rahul said it is a kind of semi-final while the 2019 parliamentary election would be the finals. Prajakutami allies will win the election as KCR and his family have totally neglected the State and Hyderabad has lagged behind in every aspect in the past four and half years.

Rahul asserted GST had a bad impact on various businesses and Hyderabad city is not an exception to this. He further said TRS and Majlis were supporting Modi regardless of the fact that PM has been demolishing all democratic institutions in the country only to take political advantage.

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KCR supported Modi at every step, says Rahul

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AICC president Rahul Gandhi has accused TRS chief and Telangana CM K Chandrasekhara Rao of having supported every bill presented in the Parliament by the Modi government. This support has been extended at every step and KCR has supported Modi even at the time of no-confidence motion moved by the TDP. His comments come after several Congress leaders had dubbed KCR as a puppet and stooge in the hands of Prime Minister Modi.

During his election speeches in Telangana, Rahul Gandhi made an unsparing attack on KCR and his family. He said in the present election, there is KCR family on one side and all others including farmers, students and youth on the other side. The TRS government had troubled farmers by provoking lathicharge on them for demanding support prices for their produce. Rahul further said in the name of redesigning irrigation projects, KCR family has looted the public money and they have failed to provide water supply to lakhs of acres as promised earlier.

Rahul asked KCR why he is not joining anti-BJP front at the national level. He asserted Prajakutami will win with the people’s support and Congress party will get victory in all the five states now, which will set the stage for similar triumphs in the 2019 parliamentary election as well. He said that the Congress and the TDP entered alliance only in the interests of the people of Telangana and to counter KCR’s unjust regime.

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Pawan Kalyan objects to Naidu’s meet with Rahul Gandhi

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Jana Senani Pawan Kalyan took strong objection to TDP President and CM Chandrababu Naidu entering an alliance with Congress in presence of Rahul Gandhi in Delhi. Pawan questioned the correctness of Naidu’s decision as TDP was helped to win in 2014 elections just for the sake of defeating Congress.
Recalling those days, Pawan said that he supported TDP-BJP alliance regardless of the fact that his big brother Chiranjeevi was a Congress leader at that time. Pawan made these remarks while talking to mediapersons from Janmabhoomi Express train during his ongoing tour from Vijayawada to East Godavari district.

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Modi shunted out CBI chief for ‘pointing fingers’ at Rafale deal: Rahul

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of shunting out the CBI Director because he was “pointing fingers” at the controversial Rafale deal.

“Do you know what the ‘Chowkidar’ did last night? He (Modi) removed the CBI Director because he had called for the files of Rafale deal,” Rahul said in Jhalawar, the home turf of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

In a post-midnight drama, the Centre on Wednesday virtually sacked CBI Director Alok Verma in the midst of a war at the agency’s top, a decision that drew condemnation from the opposition. Verma moved the Supreme Court, which will hear his plea on Friday.

Gandhi’s taunts on Modi and his accusations on the Rafale fighter planes deal drew applause from the audience.

Seizing the moment, Gandhi exhorted, “Taali Bajane Se Kuchh Nahin Hoga, Batan Dabane Se Hoga (clapping will not help, voting will).”

Modiji is known for his long speeches. He is always seen with dignitaries draped in ‘suit-boot’. However, neither he nor the Rajasthan Chief Minister is seen anywhere with farmers, he added.

Attacking Raje, he said that although Lalit Modi is sitting in London, he has given crores of rupees to the son of the Chief Minister.

He charged that Raje has closed 25,000 schools in the state, snatching the Right To Education of thousands of children.

The government refuses to waive off farmers’ loans. Farmers who fail to pay their loans are called defaulters, but when industrialists fail to pay their loans, the government gives them a red carpet welcome.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan’s State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Singh Rathore said that Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders were spreading lies.

He said that Rahul was unaware of the fact that Rajasthan was ranked second in the NCERT report in the education stream. A total of 78,000 teachers were appointed during the BJP government.

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TRS and MIM supporting Modi’s divisive politics, says Rahul

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Congress National President Rahul Gandhi today accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of resorting to the undemocratic, narrow-minded policy of ‘divide and rule’ to provoke communal feelings and take political advantage out of it.

Rahul addressed a public meeting after inaugurating the Rajiv Sadbhavana Yatra rally at the historic Charminar in Old City of Hyderabad this evening. He charged BJP with dividing different sections of society along religious and caste lines for narrow considerations of grabbing political power across the country.

Rahul said that TRS chief KCR and MIM party were supporting Modi regardless of the damage the latter was causing to the secular spirit. It could not be understood why MIM is supporting though Modi is dividing the entire nation for making political gains, Rahul said.

Rahul also addressed another public meeting at Kamareddy when he said Congress would implement Rs. 2 lakh loan waiver scheme for farmers besides taking measures for hiking crop prices after coming to power in Telangana in December.

Meanwhile, Minister KTR hit back at Rahul saying that Congress chief is making baseless allegations against TRS party keeping in mind the coming elections. KTR said that it was Congress which had done nothing to honour and recognise the contributions made by Ambedkar to the country. He recalled that it was VP Singh government which conferred Bharat Ratna on Ambedkar and not Congress.

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Prof K.Nageshwar : KCR allies with MIM , Congress counters with Modi Nexus Narrative

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Muslims account for over 12 percent of Telangana population and form decisive voting in several constituencies across the state with concentrated presence in old city of Hyderabad. The Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed election eve public meetings in Bhainsa, Kamareddy towns in north Telangana and Charminar in Hyderabad old city. The Congress selection of these places for the first leg of Rahul’s campaign in Telangana elections indicate a clear strategy to woo Muslim vote. Bhainsa and Kamareddy also have a significant Muslim voting. Charminar area of Hyderabad is the heart of MIM bastion. The Congress has already declared that ‘vote for KCR is vote for Modi‘, a strong message to the Muslim electorate.

Several constituencies in Telangana especially, the urban ones have sizable Muslim voting . Such districts include undivided Mahabubnagar , Karimnagar , Nizamabad , Nalgonda, Adilabad etc. The TRS has a better image in the rural areas due to host of welfare schemes. The congress perhaps believes that urban seats are more conducive for them to win. Focus on minority vote would further bolster its chances, a congress leader remarked.

The TRS has an open understanding with MIM. KCR publicly announced that MIM is his ally and there will only be friendly contest against it. These so called ‘friendly’ contests are an attempt to divide non-MIM vote. The TRS is likely to field Hindu candidates in MIM strong hold to effect division in anti-MIM vote . The Congress while in power played a similar trick as it had an undeclared understanding with Owaisis.

The Congress government earlier implemented four percent reservations for Muslim and thus enjoys a positive image to this effect. KCR has also promised 12 percent reservation for Muslims and a request to this effect is pending before the centre. The congress intends to focus on the non implementation of this promise.

KCR has delinked assembly elections from Parliament elections by resorting to premature dissolution of state legislature only to ensure Muslim vote in his favour as anti-Modi narrative shall dominate 2019 polls. There is also intense speculation in the political circles that MIM may even join KCR cabinet if TRS falls short of majority. At the same time the political grapevine also says that TRS may join the BJP led NDA post 2019 if the saffron party falls short of numbers or even otherwise. All this depends on post poll arithmetic both at the centre and the state.

Meanwhile, the BJP has roped in Swamy Paripoornananda in a clear bid to attract Hindu vote through anti-Muslim rhetoric. The BJP president Amit Shah has exhorted the voters of Telangana to elect BJP to ‘liberate’ Telangana from MIM clutches. The BJP is likely to focus its attack on KCR ‘s bonhomie with Owaisis and the Congress alleged Muslim appeasement politics. Barring the city of Hyderabad , the MIM failed to win any seat in Telangana . In fact it never attempted to do so and helped the party in power with which it always has an overt or covert understanding. In fact, the MIM has significant wins in local bodies elections in the past like in Karimanagar , Bhainsa etc. The TRS now and the congress in the past never tried to penetrate into Owaisis strongholds in return for the MIM’s tacit support elsewhere in the state. Thus, in the wake of bifurcation of the state, Muslim vote seems to have become a crucial one in Telangana electoral arena.

( Prof.K. Nageshwar is India’s noted political analyst. He is a former member of the Telangana Legislative Council and professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India )

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Rahul’s call to voters to oust KCR and Modi

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Congress National President Rahul Gandhi addressed a public meeting at Bhainsa in Nirmal area in Adilabad district today as part of his election campaign for December elections in Telangana.

He made a scathing attack on both the KCR government in the state and at the Modi government at the Centre. He made a fervent appeal to voters cutting across all sections of society to oust KCR and Modi from power in the coming 2018 early polls and later 2019 general elections.

Strongly criticising KCR in Telangana, Rahul Gandhi said that TRS chief has promised to place authority in the hands of a dalit but later he brought ‘family rule’ in the state by deceiving the poorer sections. It is KCR’s family that is responsible for unchecked corruption in Telangana now which is causing lot of problems to ordinary people, he said.

Rahul said KCR had failed to fulfil his promise of giving one job per household, three acres land to the poor families, 12 per cent reservation to muslims minorities, 2 crore jobs per year in the state and double bedroom flats for poor.

Rahul accused PM Modi of taking a U-turn in his well-known assurance to work like a watchdog for the people but instead the prime minister is acting as a watchdog to serve corporate heads. The Congress President said Modi has passed benefits worth Rs. 30,000 crore to his friend Anil Ambani. Modi would have to bear the entire blame for purchasing each jet fighter at Rs. 1,600 cr as against its original cost of Rs. 548 that reflected lack of responsibility to people’s money, Rahul said.

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Kodandaram refuses to share dais with Rahul Gandhi

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Bigger challenges have cropped up in front of AICC President Rahul Gandhi ahead of his tour to address three public meetings at Bhainsa, Kamareddy and Hyderabad in Telangana today afternoon.

Congress State leaders could not convince their Grand Alliance partner Kodandaram of Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) to share dais with Rahul. The issue has already sent a wrong signal to the cadres and leaders down the line with suspense still continuing on the finalisation of seat-sharing talks between these allies.

Congress State President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has requested Kodandaram to take part in Rahul’s meetings saying that this will be needed to leave a feel-good factor among the alliance partners. But Kodandaram had simply rejected the proposal saying that he would be ready to share dai only when the seat sharing talks reached a logical conclusion.

Kodandaram has been demanding 15 to 17 seats for his TJS party while Congress is willing to allot just nine seats. Congress leaders say that they cannot give so many seats because of the compulsions to accommodate other alliance partners including TDP.

The deadlock in seat sharing has come as a big embarrassment to Kodandaram whose TJS party is contesting the elections for the first time and its real strength among masses is untested. The professor is in a huge dilemma as to compromise and accept whatever is given by Congress or to go ahead to contest alone outside of Grand Alliance. He also clarified strongly that TJS will not use Congress symbol in this election as Central Election Commission will soon issue a separate symbol for their party soon.

Meanwhile, Congress leaders are preparing to make Rahul’s meets a grand success. Congress president will address meetings at Bhainsa at 1 p.m., Kamareddy at 2.30 p.m., and Hyderabad at 5 p.m. He is going to highlight Congress stand on double bedroom houses, 12 per cent reservations for tribals, issues of minority community and land distribution to the poor.

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Gaddar to meet Rahul Gandhi today

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Telangana folk singer Gaddar will be meeting Congress party supremo Rahul Gandhi today. The meeting is scheduled at 11:30 a.m. in the morning today.

Gaddar has been evincing interest to join active politics. Recently he gave a statement that he is ready to contest against Telangana CM KCR from Gajwel constituency. He also told, if any party Is keen on contesting in from some other constituency, he is open for that too.

Earlier, even before the formation of Telangana, he along with Vimalakka floated a political party but that could never take off. But now it seems he is all set to join Congress Party. We have to wait and see what kind of position he gets in the party. Also if he is going to contest on KCR, probably he will be given assurance of some other offer like MLC for MP Rajya Sabha as whoever contests against KCR will be definitely losing in elections.

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Kareena wanted to date Rahul Gandhi?

Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor has not altogether dismissed rumours of her desire to date Rahul. She simply said that that was a long time ago in the past and that she no longer has any such fascination now.

Her once upon-a-time desire came to the surface following media reports on the close relationship between the country’s top political family of the Gandhis and their counterparts in the film industry, the Kapoors. At that time, Kareena told her friends that she wanted a date from Rahul.

Later, she became busy with films and went on to taste great success in Bollywood. Eventually, she settled down in life with actor Saif Ali Khan and gave birth to a boy, Timur.

Celebrities have no choice but to confront past incidents in life and move on as if nothing has gone wrong.

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Pallam Raju, Vatti Vasanth and Chiranjeevi among absentees

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Rahul Gandhi yesterday attended a public meeting at a college ground in Kurnool , the first capital of Andhra Pradesh. The gathering was also impressive. Rahul Gandhi spoke for almost 40 minutes and blamed BJP government and Narendra Modi for all the hardships the state is facing.

The meeting was attended by congress leaders like Kotla Surya Prakash Reddy, Kiran Kumar Reddy, byreddy Rajasekhar Reddy etc. However leaders like Pallam Raju, Vatti Vasanth and Chiranjeevi who are still in congress technically chose to absent for the meeting. Pallam Raju served as Union Cabinet Minister in UPA government. Vasanth also is prominent leader in Godavari districts. Chiranjeevi is not attending any Congress party meetings and focusing on his films. Even earlier also, when Rahul Gandhi visited the state he did not attend. There are many other leaders who were once in congress but later moved on to other parties. But these three leaders are still in Congress and yet did not attend the meeting.

Chiranjeevi is anyway focusing on films. We will have to wait and see whether Pallam Raju and Vasant also planning to leave the party officially.

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Professor K.Nageshwar – Rahul Gandhi in Andhra , Congress hopes on special status for revival

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Rahul Gandhi is in Andhra Pradesh in a frantic bid to revive the congress decimated by its politics of bifurcation. The Modi government’s denial of special status to the beleaguered state has renewed the hopes in congress camp to attempt for a revival in 2019. As expected Rahul Gandhi yet again promised special status if Congress is voted to power. Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party have been consistent in their support to special status demand. In fact, the Congress has the moral and political authority to reiterate this promise. The Congress Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh has announced special status to the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh. Thus, the bifurcation of the state itself is predicated upon the promise of special status. Though the BJP’s support was instrumental in dividing the state, the people of Andhra Pradesh have punished the congress for effectuating the division of the state against their wishes. In fact, barring the CPI(M) , every political party has voiced the demand for division. Yet, the Congress had to bear the brunt of the bifurcation.

Similarly, though every other party is demanding and promising special status except the BJP, the congress has an additional credibility in assuring such a status to the Andhra Pradesh. The central government alone can deliver such a status to any state. There is indication of a front of regional parties coming to power in the centre in 2019. Even if so, many regional parties like ADMK, BJD , TRS etc. have reservations in according special category status to Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile, the BJP has already denied such a status and is not even promising it in 2019. Thus, the Congress is the only national party capable of coming to power and according special status to Andhra Pradesh. The Andhra Pradesh state Congress is , therefore focussing on this promise. The run up to 2019 elections is the perfect opportunity to en-cash on it. Rahul Gandhi is , thus, the perfect choice to promise it in a bid to revive the party in the state.

Besides the special status, the congress hopes for favourable political arithmetic by forging an understanding with TDP after the latters exit from NDA . The TDP is also showing signs of coming closer to its once arch rival as there cannot be permanent friends or foes in politics. The two parties are of course ideologically not averse to coming together. However, the TDP is still indecisive fearing possible negative fallout of allying with a party that divided the state against the wishes of the people of the region that now comprises the state of Andhra Pradesh. The early elections have come in handy for both the parties to perhaps experiment. Given the divided opinion within the party, the TDP leadership seems to inclined towards experimenting with its new and rather strange political alliance in Telangana before extending to Andhra Pradesh. If the Congress wins Rajasthan , Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh elections , it will be much easy for the TDP to convince the electorate on its possible alliance with Congress claiming that the grand old party may come to power in Delhi to enable the state to get special status. Any positive result in Telangana would further embolden TDP to join hands with Congress. However, the political chemistry between Congress and TDP remains a questionable aspect at least in Andhra Pradesh .

Amidst Naidu government’s half hearted implementation of loan waiver, congress also hopes to fuel its revival by promising such a relief to the farmers in a state having record levels of peasant indebtedness . The National Sample Survey data suggests that Andhra Pradesh leads the nation in the farmers indebtedness. Therefore, loan waiver is an emotive issue. The BJP is averse to implementing loan waiver at the national level while the Congress led UPA has done so in which the united Andhra Pradesh was the principal beneficiary. Thus, the Congress President promised loan waiver and targeted Modi stating that the Prime Minister is more interested in waiving the loans of the big corporates instead of helping farmers.

But, the ground situation is such that though people favour Rahul Gandhi as prime minister in 2019, there is no such mood to vote for congress revival. The Congress hopes that it will be the beneficiary of such a pro Rahul mood as the election data reveals that 77 percent of voters usually vote for the same party both at the centre and the state. But , the same logic can be the answer for the Congress hopes. The voters of Andhra Pradesh are in no mood to vote for Congress as they are still angry with the party over bifurcation. Thus, the voters are divided between TDP and the YSR Congress. However , they may prefer Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister as compared to Narendra Modi.

At best the party may improve its strength as compared to its lowest ever performance of 2014.

( Prof.K. Nageshwar is India’s noted political analyst. He is a former member of the Telangana Legislative Council and professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India )

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BJP deceived AP on all fronts: Rahul Gandhi

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During his current tour in Kurnool, All India Congress Committee President Rahul Gandhi criticized the BJP government at the centre in a no-holds-barred attack. He said that the BJP leadership had failed to do justice to the AP people on all fronts in the past four years of its rule.

Addressing Satyameva Jayate public meeting in the town, he recalled that when the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised special status for five years, the BJP leaders demanded it for 10 years.
But after coming to power, the BJP did nothing to fulfill that promise while at the same time taking a totally different stand, he said. Rahul emphatically said that the special status should not be seen just as a political promise but it should be regarded as the right of the AP people. He deplored that the BJP had not hesitated to carry out a misinformation campaign to leave an impression that the status couldn’t be possible. Referring to other aspects, Rahul said that the BJP leaders had also failed on promises such as Kadapa steel plant, development of backward regions via special packages, national project status to the lifeline Polavaram project and Vizag railway zone. He also lamented that there was no progress in execution of various central educational institutions in AP. Rahul said that the ruling party at the centre clearly had no respect for the AP Reorganization Act 2014. He promised that he would put his first signature on the special status file after winning the 2019 elections.

United AP’s last chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy asserted that AP would get special status only if Rahul became elected as the Prime Minister of the country in next election. Congress AP Observer Oommen Chandy, Party State President N Raghuveera Reddy, former minister Kotla Surya Prakash Reddy and others spoke.

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Same old promise from Rahul to AP

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As expected, there’s nothing that is unexpected during the ongoing visit of Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Kurnool district here in AP on Tuesday.

He once again promised the same old promise of conferring the special status on AP immediately after coming to power in the 2019 elections.
He also praised a lot the now-friendly TDP government in AP saying that the successful implementation of Self Help Groups activities here would be inspirational for the rest of the country.

Rahul said all this during an interaction with the students and the youth at a programme held at Byreddy Convention Centre.

The present visit comes amidst lot of anticipation and expectations among the existing small number of leaders and cadres for recapturing the past glory.

In the 2014 elections, the Congress suffered severe losses as even big stalwarts lost their deposits.

Clearly, they tasted the wrath and bitterness of the AP population after the hasty state division despite widespread agitation.

The Congress leaders were also hoping to activate the cadres after Rahul’s visit and launch “Intintiki Congress” (door to door) soon all over the state.

Congress AP President N Raghuveera Reddy has revived the slogan that their party would have a tie-up with the people to defeat the rival forces.

Meanwhile, no agreement is reached over seat sharing between Congress and TDP in Telangana so far.

TDP is demanding over 30 seats while the Congress was ready to give less than 15. There are a total 119 seats in Telangana.

G. Ravikiran

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