News in The Hindu
YSR sounds a warning
‘Telangana may break A.P. into more smaller pieces’
Points out to demands for separate Andhra, Rayalaseema and Hyderabad regions
Congress high command will take appropriate decision at the right time on Telangana, he says
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Wednesday made it clear that he had given his views on separate Telangana to the Congress core committee led by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Even while maintaining that he would not share his views with the media, he hinted that the carving out of Telangana region might lead to the State’s division into smaller pieces as there were demands such as separate Andhra, Rayalaseema and Hyderabad regions raised by various political organisations and forums. However, he had no difference of opinion on the subject with the party high command and he would abide by whatever decision it took.
Dr. Reddy, who was talking to media persons after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi and senior Congress leaders, said the high command would take appropriate decision at the right time.
The Chief Minister, who had been saying so long that the UPA government was trying to arrive at a political consensus on the issue, however was not forthcoming on when a Bill on Telangana would be introduced in the Parliament as almost all the parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party, Telugu Desam Party and Left parties were supporting the issue.
When it was pointed out that Telangana was promised by the UPA which even included it in the common minimum programme (CMP), he said CMP was some sort of understanding with the political parties and “whatever and whenever decision has to be taken it will be done by the UPA government”.
Chief Minister to inaugurate new bridge across Eluru canal today
The bridge built across the Eluru canal in the city, linking the canal road in I-Town and the Powerpet station road in II-Town by crossing the Eluru canal and the Grand National Trunk (GNT) road, is all set to be declared open for traffic by Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Thursday amidst apprehensions over its efficacy in traffic management.
It seemingly brings no cheers for the road users passing through the GNT road and the shop-keepers on either side of the road.
The Rs. 60-crore bridge, that boasts of replacing an age-old wooden bridge of the British time to ensure smooth passage of traffic movement from I-Town to the station road (Powerpet) in II-Town, is said to be unlikely to serve the very purpose allegedly due to designing failing to match with the ground realities.
The bridge was designed in such a manner that the approach road joining the highway was laid with a 10ft –high divider, forcing the vehicle riders to take a U-turn while moving on the station road and same is the case with those going to the I-Town from the highway by crossing the bridge.
“It’s a virtually a roadblock with regard to traffic movement”, comments a realtor having his office on the GNT road close to the bridge. When the traffic joins the highway through the bridge in the Y-format, the highway with its two ways with 10ft width each, fails to cope with the high-dense traffic at the point, resulting in utter chaos, he said.
The Municipal Corporation of Eluru took more than two-and-a-half years to complete the bridge.
YSR’s two-day visit to West Godavari begins today
The Rs.170-crore lift scheme is aimed at providing drinking water to 230 habitations
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy will pay a two-day visit in West Godavari district from Thursday. He will take part in a string of programmes in the district during his visit.
According to district incharge Collector V. Durga Das, he will lay a foundation stone for a lift irrigation project at Kamavarapukota, which is intended to supply the Godavari water from the Right Main Canal for irrigation to the upland areas in West Godavari and the neighbouring Krishna districts.
The Rs.170 crore lift scheme is aimed at providing drinking water to 230 habitations falling under 15 mandals and irrigating an extent of about 1.75 lakh acres in Polavaram, Chintalapudi, Unguturu, Denduluru, Gopalapuram and the neighbouring Nuzvid mandal in Krishna district. Besides, he will address public gatherings at Kaikaram under Unguru Assembly segment, Kamavarapukota and Eluru in connection with the ‘Indiramma Samabralu’.
Dr. Reddy will also lay a foundation stone for the Tammileru modernisation works; inaugurate a cancer hospital and I-Town police station building in the city.
The Chief Minister will interact with party workers at Alluri Sitarama Raju stadium before he retires for the day. He will leave for Hyderabad by helicopter next day.
YSR’s visit boosts morale of partymen
Chief Minister Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy’s one day whirlwind tour of Itchapuram, Tekkali, Narsannapeta and Srikakulam constituencies, the same route that Praja Rajyam president Chiranjeevi had taken a fortnight ago, was to neutralise the euphoria generated by the actor-turned politician’s visit and also to prove a point. While political observers feel that a seasoned party like the Congress need not have resorted to such an exercise to prove a point, the Congress local managers were of the opinion that false impressions and claims gaining popularity among the people need to be neutralised.
The Chief Minister’s 12-hour drive touching several politically key places like Itchapuram, Sompeta, Tekkali and Narasannapeta shot up the election fever with five more months to go for Assembly elections.
Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy, who appeared confident, mostly harped on his government’s performance. The burden of his song everywhere was welfare of the people and development of the State. He cautioned the people against being misled by what he called unreliable promises of the TDP and the visionless new born baby called PR. He impressed upon the people that the process of development must continue and the people should not take chances adopting trial and error methods.
Everywhere he reiterated that he has guts to seek people’s blessings for another term as the Congress has not only fulfilled all its election promises but also implemented several giant schemes like the Rs.2 a kg scheme.
At Itchapuram unprecedented crowds made a beeline to the venue of the public meeting. Two weeks ago at the same place it was the youth and mostly teenagers in large numbers, who accorded a hysterical welcome to Chiranjeevi. Commentators say that matured voters attended the Chief Minister’s meeting while the youth, majority of whom, who are below 18 years attended the latter’s meetings.
TDP and Congress have a well-oiled party machinery while the PRP is still grappling with no party committees, no leaders of any standing in every constituency, no grass-root level party workers network except an army of fans who are energetic but directionless and without political orientation .
The Congress leaders argue that crowds are no yardstick to test the popularity of a political party as Chiranjeevi, admired as a hero for over two to three decades in the celluloid world, naturally will attract more crowd than any other political leader familiar with the people. The Congress, which is banking on its performance, need to ensure effective implementation of its prestigious housing scheme.
Teachers court arrest across State
Police release 1.5 lakh arrested teachers without booking cases: Jacto
Teachers to gherao Ministers on Thursday, launch mass hunger strike on Friday
Teachers courted arrest in large numbers at several places in the State on the eighth day of their indefinite strike on Wednesday when they picketed revenue divisional offices as part of the intensified agitation.
No indication, however, was available from the government on the resumption of talks with the Joint Action Committee of Teachers’ Organisations.
Police released all the arrested teachers, numbering about 1.5 lakh, without booking any cases, Jacto leaders later said. The teachers gathered at the revenue divisional offices at 320 places, right from 10 a.m., sporting black badges. Police swung into action as work in the revenue offices was affected with the agitators stopping people from going to offices.
A statement issued by Jacto’s State steering committee said the teachers would gherao Ministers on Thursday and launch mass hunger strike along with family members on Friday. They also said they were ready to follow the advice given by the High Court and urged the government to invite them for talks.
Extending their solidarity with the ongoing strike, all the Opposition parties have urged Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy to take the initiative and hold discussions with the agitating teachers for resolving their issues amicably.
Participating in an all-party meeting convened by the CPI(M) on Wednesday, representatives of the TDP, TRS, CPI(M), CPI, BJP, PR, Lok Satta and other parties expressed concern over the way the government was unleashing repression to ensure that the teachers relent from their strike. CPI (M) State secretary B.V. Raghavulu presided over the meeting which was attended, among others, by senior TDP leader K. Srihari, Nayani Narsimha Reddy (TRS), E. Peddi Reddy (NTP), K. Laxman (BJP), Parakala Prabhakar (PR) and K. Aruna (CPI).
News in Deccan Chronicle
Congress delays T chapter
The Congress high command has decided to wait for some more time before taking a decision on Telangana statehood. The core committee of the Congress on Wednesday confined itself to hearing the views of the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Raja-sekhar Reddy, on the issue. The meeting, chaired by the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, and attended by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, asked Dr Reddy how he intended to face the issue during the elections, with even the Telugu Desam, favouring statehood for the region.
Dr Reddy presented his views and assured the leadership that it need not worry about the Congress’ prospects even if all Opposition parties take a pro-statehood stand. Dr Reddy suggested appointing another states re-organisation commission (SRC). The Congress had requested for a SCR but was turned down by the then home minister, Mr L.K. Advani, he said.
The Congress had in 2004 mentioned the constitution of the SRC in its manifesto. The feelings of the people from Rayalseema, and coastal Andhra also have to be taken into consideration before taking any decision on Telangana statehood. Dr Reddy favoured elections to the Lok Sabha and the Assembly in February, irrespective of the outcome of the elections in six states later this year. The core committee discussed the issue of timing of elections at length, sources said.
The minister for agriculture, Mr. N. Raghuveera Reddy, said that the Chief Minister, Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, was determined to develop Andhra Pradesh in all sectors. Speaking at the Indiramma Sambaralu programme here on Wednesday, he said several families have benefited from the many schemes being implemented by the state government and added that even the Telugu Desam president, Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, was a beneficiary in a state government scheme.
Mr Raghuveera Reddy said Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy had sanctioned Rs. 76 lakh as subsidy based on an application submitted by Mr. Chandrababu Naidu to start an industry in Chittoor. The minister added that the subsidy amount was credited to the Telugu Desam president’s account.
He said the state government was sanctioning Indiramma houses and pensions in an apolitical manner in Naravaripalle, the native village of Mr. Naidu. Mr. Raghuveera Reddy added that the government was also trying to eradicate regional disparities and develop all constituencies.
Over 10,000 couples across the state are likely to tie knot in the fourth phase of Kalyanamastu mass marriage programme being conducted by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams on November 2. So far, 6,000 couples have enrolled themselves for the programme. A few thousand more are likely to get enrolled for the mass marriage ceremonies to be held at TTD Kalyanamandapams and other select venues from 10.50 am to 11.10 am.
Couples will be provided “Gold pusthelu”, new clothes, silver metellu and other paraphernalia required for the function as per the Hindu tradition. The TTD chairman, Mr Adikeshavulu Naidu, met the Chief Minister, Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, and explained to him the arrangements being made for the programme.
According to the TTD, 400 couples in Karimnagar district, 600 couples in Warangal, 600 couples in Nalgonda and many more in other districts have registered for the marriage. The last date for application is October 31. During the three phases of Kalyanamastu programme, about 20,000 couples have tied knot.
Couples and their families can register for the marriage at endowment department assistant commissioner office, major temples, TTD kalyanamandapam, MRO, MDO, village sarpanch and tahsildar office. The couple will be provided a certificate of marriage after the function, according to TTD executive officer, Mr. Ramanachary.
The Chief Minister, who discussed the arrangements with endowment and TTD officials, asked all elected public representatives including MPs, MLAs and MLCs to cooperate with the concerned authorities.
The state government has in principle decided to extend incentives to mega industrial projects which are in pipeline even after the lapse of the industrial policy 2005-2010. The government, however, would insist that the projects should either start commercial production by 2012 or achieve financial closure before the end of the policy period to avail the facility. The State Industrial Investment Promotion board which recently met under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, took a decision in this regard.
The Chief Minister directed the industries department to formulate guidelines for extending such incentives to mega industrial projects. “Extension is more important now in view of the global slowdown in market globally,” the industries principal secretary, Mr. B. Sam Bob pointed out.
To pep up the activists in the wake of tre-mendous response to actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi’s just concluded Praja A-nkita Yatra in north Andhra especially in Srikakulam, the Chief Minister, Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, would tour the district on Sunday.
During his whirlwind vis-it, Dr Reddy would take part in six road shows in the rural parts of the district and seven in strategic locations in the town. He would also take part in two public mee-tings, as part of the ongoing Indiramma Sambaralu.
Another important part of his visit to Srikakulam is that he would inaugurate a park developed by the tourism department, which was developed in memory of his padayatra, which he undertook in 2003 and ended at Itchapuram.
The Chief Minister would fly to Srikakulam on Sund-ay morning and proceed to Itchapuram. He would addr-ess two public meetings at Itchapuram, Santabommali and inaugurates Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences building in Srikakulam.
Local Congress leaders are busy in making arrangements to make their leader’s visit a success. Police from the neighbouring districts of Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam were also sent to Srikakulam for bandobust.
Dr. Reddy would also take part in the District Congress Committee meeting in the evening. He would stay in Srikakulam on Sunday nig-ht and would return to Hyd-erabad on Monday.
Mr. Palem Srikant Reddy, who recently joined the Telugu Desam (TD), created a commotion in Kadapa district by challenging the family of the Chief Minister, Dr. Y.S. Raja-sekhar Reddy, to contest against him in Pulivendula. He also expressed his intention to contest from the Kadapa Lok Sabha seat from the TD.
Two days ago, Mr. Srikant Reddy challenged Dr Reddy or his son Mr. Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy to contest against him as councillor or municipal chairman in Pulivendula. He said that if he was defeated he would not contest in the elections for five years and confine himself to social service. The Congress leaders also responded to his challenge and asked him to contest from any one of eight wards chosen by them in Pulivendula.
Mr. Srikant Reddy, who joined the TD in the presence of the party president, Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, two months ago, is extensively touring the Kadapa Parliamentary constituency. The TD brought Mr. Srikant Reddy, who hailed from Veerapunayunipalle mandal in Kamalapuram constituency, into politics to take on the YSR family. The Rajya Sabha member of the TD, Dr. M.V. Mysoora Reddy, brought Mr. Srikant Reddy into politics to contest from the Kadapa Lok Sabha seat on behalf of the party.
The TD wants to project him as an opponent to Mr. Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy who is also planning to contest from the Kadapa Lok Sabha seat. Meanwhile, Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy is also trying to woo people in the district. He toured four constituencies in the district for four days. He is meeting senior Congress leaders and seeking their support. Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy is also taking steps to solve problems of people in the Kadapa Parliamentary constituency.
CM assured quicker decision on gas for AP
The Chief Minis ter, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, on Wednesday hinted that the Centre’s decision on gas allocation to Andhra Pradesh was expected soon and it could be as early as within a week or 10 days.
After meeting the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan SIngh, and the external affairs minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, who heads the EGOM on petroleum issues, besides Union petroleum minister, Mr Murli Deora, mainly to discuss KG Basin gas allocation by the Centre to Andhra Pradesh, Dr Reddy said it was for the Centre to decide on priorities for allocation of gas to be produced by Reliance.
Dr. Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy said, “Our contention is that about six to eight years ago, the Government of India allocated 13 Million Metric Standard Cubic Metres per Day (MMSCMD) for different power units in the state. But today, we are receiving only 4 MMSCMD. Our request is that the government should first honour its commits made earlier, before making fresh allocations. So our point is that first gas produced by Reliance in the KG basin should be given to power units in AP.
The Chief Minister said that Mr Mukherjee was sympathetic and talked to Mr Deora in front of him and examined the documents supporting AP’s contention that the government made these allocations and assured that prior commitments would be honoured.