News in Deccan Chronicle
Star turns Nagarjuna to act for Congress
Taking the ongoing star wars in state politics to a new high, the actor Akkineni Nagarjuna is all set to support the Congress in the coming elections.
The Congress, which is looking for some glamour to take on the Nandamuri clan of the Telugu Desam and Chiranjeevi of the Praja Rajyam, received a shot in the arm with the actor acting in government-sponsored publicity films on its wel fare schemes.
Sources said Nagarjuna, 49, had agreed to act in the publicity films because he was “impressed by the Chief Minister, Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy’s programmes and policies.” Nagarjuna completed a couple of publicity films while shooting in Bengaluru for a Telugu feature film. The ad films would be beamed on television and screened in theatres.
The AP state cultural council chairman and actor, Mr. Dharmavarapu Subram anyam who roped in star told this correspondent that Nagarjuna was impressed by the development and welfare schemes initiated by the YSR government. “We have shot a couple of shortduration publicity films,” he said.
Mr. Subramanyam on Thursday called on the Chief Minister, Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, and showed him the Nagarjunastarrers.
Asked if Nagarjuna would campaign for the Congress, Mr Subramayam said he would, “if all goes well” and added, “Let’s wait and see. It’s the first step (publicity films). We hope so (to cam paign).” Government sources gave indications that the actor Mahesh Babu would join the Congress campaign. HIs father, the actor Krishna, has pledged his support to the Congress.
Their fans associations are being merged ahead of working on the Congress campaign.
Several Tollywood actors have joined the Congress recently including Jayasudha, Dr Rajashekhar and his actor-wife Jeevitha and Vijayachander.
Don’t resort to cuts, says YSR
Dr. Reddy approves purchase of power from outside the state
With polls round the corner, the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, on Thursday directed the APGenco and the APTransco not to resort to cuts, load relief and tripping in power supply to all the sectors.
“There should be no power cuts, load relief or power tripping whatsoever hereafter in the state for domestic, business and industrial sectors. All steps should be taken to ensure seven-hour power supply to agriculture sector,” Dr Reddy said.
The Chief Minister held a high-level review meeting on power situation and instructed officials to ensure optimum power supply from naphta and coal-based power projects in the wake of drop in prices till gas was available for gas-based units.
Dr Reddy approved purchase of power from outside the state to meet the growing demand in all the sectors particularly the agriculture sector.
He asked them to ensure sufficient power supply to agriculture during Rabi.
“I am making it clear to both the APGenco and the APTransco and other Discoms that there should be no power cuts hereafter. Come out with a concrete action plan for this on Monday for final approval,” the Chief Minister reportedly told the meeting.
He said that since the cost of naphtha and coal has come down drastically from Rs 74,000 per metric tonne (mt) to Rs 24,000 per MT, purchase plans should be done well in advance to make all power projects work to the optimum.
GHMC to evict encroachers
I State to provide facilities to the poor I ‘The encroachers have been resisting the eviction alleging that the housing colonies are located far’ away from the core city.
The Greater Hyder abad Municipal Corporation is trying to evict the encroachments on nalas by offering sqatters a rehabilitation package.
The GHMC, Commissioner, Mr S.P. Singh, on Thursday, offered to provide all facilities including roads, schools, dispensaries, community halls, at the housing colonies for weaker sections being constructed by the corporation, on the city outskirts.
Mr Singh also tried to woo the builders, developers and contractors stating that those coming forward to take up EWS or lower income group housing and projects in city in publicthe contract without any delay.
Over 59,000 flats are being constructed for the ‘ other related infrastructure private partnership will get homeless poor in city and the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, has asked the corporation officials to prioritise the eviction of those encroaching the nalas followed by other eligible poor in the city.
The encroachers have been resisting the eviction alleging that the housing colonies are located far away from the core city.
In some sites at Cherlapalli and Rampalli nearly 2,000 units are almost ready for occupation.
The officials hope he nala encroachers can be shifted to these colonies, after they are convinced that all facilities would be provided.
A lavish ceremony
The wedding ceremony of Nellore legislator Anam Vivekananda Reddy’s son, Santha Ranga Mayur Reddy with Surya turned out to be a grand affair with the who’s who of the state turning up to grace the occasion. However, all eyes were on Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, who came to bless the couple.
YSR hints at GHMC polls in January
’Assembly elections in February or April’
Confident about Congress putting up good show
Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy gave strong indications here on Thursday that the long overdue elections to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) could be held in January.
“Elections to the GHMC will be held before the Assembly and Parliamentary polls are conducted either in February or April,” Dr. Reddy announced at a meeting of party workers from Secunderabad, Musheerabad and Secunderabad Cantonment Assembly constituencies here on Thursday.
“The tempo of the GHMC elections should continue till the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls,” he said, while advising party leaders to sink differences that had prevented the Congress from winning these three Assembly seats in the last 15 years. The exception was Musheerabad in the recent byelections.
The Chief Minister promised to ensure that 3.46 lakh drinking water tap connections out of 3.80 lakh in the city will receive daily water supply from November 14. At present, the daily supply is confined to three lakh connections.
Dr. Reddy strongly defended the Hyderabad Metro Rail project.
“We have invited global tenders and finalised the bids even though the Opposition parties are trying to politicise the issue.” The rail project will fetch revenue of Rs. 30,000 crore in the next three decades.
The buildings and complexes to be constructed on the 270-acre land to be given to the promoter will be returned to the government after 33 years, he said.
Congress ropes in Nag for campaign
More actors to be drafted for publicising welfare schemes
Intensifying the race for utilising film glamour for their election campaign, the Congress roped in leading Telugu film actor Akkineni Nagarjuna to campaign for its welfare schemes.
An advertisement film highlighting Rajiv Arogyasri, NREGA, housing and other schemes featuring Mr. Nagarjuna has already hit the television screen and the Congress announced its plans to rope in more actors in the coming days. Mr. Nagarjuna will be one among the several stars who will feature in the ad campaign to be launched shortly, AP State Cultural Council Chairman Dharmavarapu Subrahmanyam told reporters on Thursday.
More names soon
Mr. Subrahmanyam said unlike in 2004, several leading film stars were evincing interest in participating in the campaign as they were appreciative of the schemes launched by the government and the names of those backing the Congress would be announced shortly. Mr. Subrahmanyam, who called on Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, refuted the charge that film actors were backing the Congress for settling issues pertaining to lands and other benefits.
No power cuts till next June: YSR
The government has decided not to impose power cuts on any category of consumers in the State during the rabi season and until next June when the south-west monsoon sets in.
The present shortage of 15 to 20 million units (mu), which has been caused by a general increase in consumption and non-operation of the gas-based projects, will be met by running the combined cycle plants with naphtha and purchasing power from external sources.
Reviewing power sector-related issues here on Thursday, Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy directed officials of the APTransco, APGenco and the distribution companies to avoid power cuts, load relief or trippings in the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors.
He asked them to come back on Monday with an action plan specifying the steps to implement his instructions. Speaking to the media later, Energy Minister Mohd. Ali Shabbir who attended the meeting along with top officials of the utilities said that all power stations in the State, government or private, would be operated at optimum capacity.
News in Times of India
Cong to unleash Nagastra
Subtlety has never been the leitmotif of either Tollywood or political parties. But in what appears to be a trailer or a subtle teaser, popular Tollywood hero Nagarjuna has been roped in by the Congress to boost its star and glamour quotient. The star has been used to endorse YSR’s pet schemes like Indiramma and Arogyasri, which went on air on Telugu channels in the last two days. “He is going to campaign for us in the coming elections,” Congress sources told TOI confidently. The film star could not be contacted for comments. He was away in Bangalore for shooting.
But there has been some consternation in the Chiranjeevi camp: after all Nagarjuna is being roped in for firepower to counter the megastar. The two are also partners in MAA TV. “His family owns Annapurna Studios in Jubilee Hills. Now the land use is sought to be changed so that it can be used for commercial purposes. This is the price that Nagarjuna is defraying for this gain,” sources in the Chiranjeevi camp asserted in a claim that TOI can’t vouch for.
Interestingly, the Akkineni family has so far kept off active politics, though not completely. During the 2004 Assembly elections, Nagarjuna had subtly lent his support to the TDP by appearing in television campaigns urging people to register themselves as voters and also cast their votes. This time around he appears to have shifted his loyalties to the Congress.
That almost completes the Tollywood mosaic on the state political landscape. Nagarjuna has a mass following both as a romantic hero and for playing devotional roles in classical films like Annamayya and Bhakta Ramdas. Some of his songs like “Anna adugu veste mass,” have been big hits.
The entry of Nagarjuna will also add spice to the caste matrix. Analysts see this as the Congress finding a timely and strategic fit. Here’s how. Nagarjuna’s entry will help the Congress in creating a split in young Kamma voters in particular and in attracting women voters. Further, if Mahesh babu, son of veteran actor and former Congress MP G Krishna, also agrees to jump into the campaign, then Congress would be able to effectively cut into the TDP vote bank of young voters and negate the impact of Balakrishna who plunged into active politics two days ago.
Though Mahesh Babu has not come out openly in support of the Congress, his father Krishna recently opened up membership for the newly-formed ‘Krishna-Mahesh Sena’ with the obvious intention of lending support to the ruling party.
This apart, actor Rajasekhar is already sailing with the Congress. Hero Srihari and Jayasudha too are in.
According to sources, chairman of cultural wing and popular comedian D Subramaniam and brother of Krishna, Adiseshagiri Rao had talks with chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy on Thursday and told him that they would rope in Nagarjuna as well.
If last time around it was the TDP camp which had all the star glitter, now the Congress is not losing a chance to add as much film glamour as it can. Some star dust this.
Govt seeks more power from naphtha units
Faced with power shortage and power cuts in rural areas and unable to get adequate power from outside, the state government has asked naphtha-based power units to increase power generation.
The government at a review meeting on Thursday made it clear to APGenco that it should draw an action plan within a week under the assumption that the state is unlikely to get gas in the near future. With the average demand per day is 8,600 MW as against availability of 7,000 MW, ensure that all power projects both run by Genco and private units run to optimum levels, CM said.