News in The Hindu
YSR coming tomorrow
Hectic schedule awaits Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in Mahabubnagar town on Sunday.
The district administration, which finalised various developmental programmes, is busy in getting the town spruced up. The road dividers have been coloured and potholes on the road are being attended.
According to officials, the Chief Minister, who would arrive at 10.30 a.m., would participate in many programmes.
Dr. Reddy would also interact with Palamoor University students, members of self-help groups and members of the municipal council.
He would also lay foundation for various structures – including Zilla Mahila Samakya building, integrated housing programme and slum development, additional building at R&B guest house, besides district Congress committee office.
Dr. Reddy will also address a public meeting at Boys Junior College Grounds in the afternoon where he will also open mega job mela.
Congress to cash in on Nandi awards
The Congress, in its bid to reap dividends with the help of stars and starlets in its fold, is planning to take on its glamour-studded rivals, the Praja Rajyam and the TDP, by making the most out of the upcoming Nandi Awards function.
Yester year’s superstar Krishna and his actor son Mahesh, who will be presented the coveted NTR Award and Best Actor respectively, will be pitching in their fans in large numbers at the glittering function to be held at Lal Bahadur Stadium here on November 16, departing from the tradition of restricting entry. This, the Congress functionaries say, is just a precursor to the show of strength by Krishna-Mahesh Sena in the forthcoming election meetings. Krishna has already given a call to fans of the father-son duo to rally behind the Congress. The party leaders don’t see anything wrong in the plan of fan clubs to attend the awards function in large numbers. Popular heroine and character actor Jayasudha called on Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Friday and submitted a four-page action plan to campaign for the party. Sources said that Dr. Reddy advised her to concentrate on visiting the colleges all over the State to motivate the youth. Youth and women empowerment programmes would be the main themes of her interaction. In a related development, APCC general secretary Ambati Rambabu and Mahila Congress chief K. Ganga Bhavani met actor Jeevitha and urged her to participate in the party programmes targeted to woo the women electorate. She is likely to take part in the programmes to be launched from November 19.
YSR plans reply to ‘Yuva Garjana’
60-km-long road show to commence at Rentachintala
Poll managers plan to have the tour on November 13
Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy has drawn up plans to “effectively respond” to the Telugu Desam Party’s ‘Yuva Garjana’ organised in Guntur with a sequel by holding a daylong road show in politically-sensitive Palnadu area in the same district.
Poll managers of the Congress plan to have the tour of Dr. Reddy on November 13 and are leaving nothing to chance only to prove a point that none owns patent to large turnouts. The tour, intended at covering four Assembly constituencies – Macherla, Gurazala, Sathenapalli and Pedakurapadu — will be the first in a series of weekend road shows of Dr. Reddy that will follow.
Basking in the afterglow of the “tremendous response” to his tour in Srikakulam district last month following Praja Rajyam party president Chiranjeevi’s campaign debut road shows in the North Coastal Andhra district, the Congress think tank wants to rest the burden of keeping the popular support revved up on the shoulders of Dr. Reddy again. Dr. Reddy’s 60-km-long road show will commence at Rentachintala in Macherla Assembly constituency and culminate in a public meeting at Sathenapalli. He will address party workers at Guntur.
Meanwhile, Dr. Reddy’s son Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy will tour East Godavari district on Saturday. He will participate in social service activities taken up by the YSR Foundation in Rajahmundry and Kakinada.
News in Deccan Chronicle
72 MLAs to be ejected
The Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy has begun the exercise of shortlisting candidates for the Assembly elections, expected to be held in February next, even as he is holding constituency-wise reviews with local leaders. The shortlisting of candidates is based on assessment reports: Three private agencies are polling opinions in almost all Assembly constituencies. According to sources, Dr Reddy has received reports on the entire Assembly segment.
The reports give a break-up of the electorate, caste equations, polarisation of castes and groups and the image of the sitting MLA and names of alternative candidates. They also name possible contenders from the Telugu Desam and Praja Rajyam, and their image in the public. The report indicates that though the ruling party is comfortably placed, it has unpopular MLAs in 72 seats that need to be ejected.
According to a source, the October report paints a rosy picture for the Congress. In 21 districts, barring Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy, which account for 29 seats, the Congress can win 155 Assembly seats seven more than the halfway mark in the Assembly.
The IT Special Economic Zone proposed by Satyam Computers in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam has run into trouble. Though the Centre has notified SEZ status to the project, the company is now being forced to shift its location from Thotakonda following objections from the Indian Navy. The government had allotted 50 acres to Satyam Computers, which started operations in Visakhapatnam in 2005.
However, the land allotted to the company had earlier been given to the Navy though it did not use it for any purpose. “The district collector resumed the land and allotted it to Satyam but naval authorities took exception to the government’s decision,” said a senior official. The Chief-of-Naval Staff wrote to the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, explaining the importance of the location and informed that the Navy wanted to set up wireless signal system there. This prompted the government to step back.
Sources said that the Chief Minister held a meeting with officials on Friday to check out alternative locations. Officials informed him of the availability of 50 acres in Kapula Vuppada in city outskirts. “But this land belongs to AP Greyhounds, the elite anti-Naxal squad, and the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority,” a senior official pointed out. Dr Reddy was amenable to the suggestion and said that the Greyhounds could be shown an alternative location in the state capital and Vuda could be compensated.
After bagging Nagarjuna, Congress is now aiming for another mega star “Prince” Mahesh Babu. YSR government is planning to cash in on “Prince” Mahesh Babu at Nandi award function to be held on November 16. Mahesh Babu, who has bagged a Nandi award will be present at the awards ceremony, sources in the Congress said. “Plans are afoot to cash in on Mahesh Babu’s presence. Though the actor will attend the official function to take the award, the Congress will try to cash on his image. His parent’s actor Krishna and Vijayanirmala are Congress supporters and had met Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy to prepare for the election campaign,” a close aide of the Chief Minister said.
After Actor Nagarjuna acted in publicity films of Congress government welfare schemes, Mahesh Babu too is being cajoled to act and also campaign in the ensuing elections, the sources added. New entrant’s actors Jayasudha and Jeevitha have been entrusted with the new work.
Actor Jayasudha has been entrusted with the job of wooing women college students, hostel inmates and other sections of women. Noted Telugu actress Jayasudha Kapoor has chalked out a youth campaign for Congress election campaign titled Mee Jayasudha Meeku Thelusa, (Do you know your Jayasudha). Jeevitha would participate in the functions organised by Andhra Pradesh Mahila Congress in the State.
Would visit select women’s colleges and hostels and explain to them the programmes and policies of the Y S Rajasekhar Reddy Government. “We want to bring in a new mode of campaign. It would be refreshing too. While the Chief Minister, PCC chief Mr D. Srinivas, Mr Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and other party leaders would participate in road shows, the actors will focus on target groups like women and students,”the aide said.
The Praja Rajyam would win 43 seats accordng to an assessment report with the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy. The Telugu Desam will get 37 seats, Telangana Rastra Samiti 10, CPI (M) two and the CPI, one seat. In 10 constituencies the fight is considered tough.
The surveys have not taken into account the possible alliances among the parties. “In case there are tie-ups among the opposition parties, the situation would be totally different,” the report suggested. According to the assessment report, the Praja Rajyam would claim a major portion of seats in the Godavari districts where the Telugu Desam would be routed. The party will not pose any threat in Rayalaseema which will witness a tough fight between the Congress and the TD. Both parties are equally placed in Anantapur district and the Telugu Desam will bag a seat in Kadapa district, the report says.
In North Telangana districts, the report shows the Congress posting impressive performances in Adilabad, Nizamabad and Khammam. The Telangana Rashtra Samiti and the Telugu Desam will get majority seats in Karimnagar and Warangal. In Mahbubnagar the Congress will win 11 out of 14 seats, the report said. It is learnt that the party leadership will study assessment reports, one by December end and another by January end before deciding on candidates.
The Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, will fly for the first time on the new Augusta Westland 139 helicopter on November 9. The Chief Minister fly go to Mahbubnagar to launch the Palamur University and inaugurate its hostel buildings. He will interact with students and participate in other official programmes besides addressing a public meeting. He will fly back in the afternoon. The helicopter costing Rs 58 crore arrived here on November 5. Till now Dr Reddy has been using an old Bell helicopter, on which he has logged about 600 hours.
News in Times of India
YSR may scrap controversial coastal corridor project
A day before the all-opposition parties’ protest against the controversial Coastal Corridor project on Sunday, chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy is likely to take a final call on the issue.
According to highly-placed sources, the CM might take a crucial decision on the issue, which is fast turning out to be an albatross around his neck and giving enough ammunition to the political parties ahead of the polls. Sources in the CMO said a high-level meeting would be held on Saturday to review the situation and scrap the project if it is expedient to do so.
Stung by the negative response to the project from all quarters, the CM had dropped enough hints during his visit to the north coastal districts last month that the project would be withdrawn if people were not in favour of it. Sources said a decision with regard to the scrapping of GOs 34 and 373 on the the coastal corridor from Srikakulam to Nellore –could be examined before winding up the project itself.
The government’s decision to bring the villages in the entire coast right from Itchapuram in Srikakulam to Tada in Nellore into the corridor purview in the name of developing it as a hub of port-based industries has led to widespread protests, particularly by the Left and TDP. “The project is to benefit the region. At the same time, the government does not want to allow the opposition to mislead the people and take political advantage,” a senior official attached to the project told TOI.
For all those who came in late, the corridor project envisions setting up of infrastructure and ancillary units, SEZs, a petroleum, chemical and petrochemical investment region (PCPIR), ports, airports and a sea port corridor known as Vanpic along the entire 972-kmcoastline right from Itchapuram to Tada. The land set to be acquired for the project is a staggering 50 lakh acres. The project, which entails an investment of Rs 13 lakh crore, is set to displace nearly 2.3 crore people, according to a report by the National Alliance of People’s Movement. After the Centre gave an in-principle nod for the project in May this year, the government went into an overdrive to develop four and six-lane road parallel to the existing national highway to support the corridor project.
CM to mute Yuvagarjana impact
Even before the resounding roar of TDP’s Yuvagarjana settles down, chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy would be touring the Reddy strongholds in Guntur district on November 13 when he would conduct road shows.
Initially, the CM wanted to tour the Kamma-dominant delta region, but his programme was shifted to the Palnadu area — the Reddy heartland in the district.
The decision to shift the CM’s tour from delta to Palnadu has raised many eyebrows in the political circles, particularly in the wake of the Yuvagarjana’s success. According to party sources, the change in the CM’s itinerary was part of a well thought-out strategy. Analysts said it was a clever move by the ruling party to consolidate its main votebank what with the TDP making efforts to win back the confidence of the Kammas.
Sources told ‘TOI’ the CM’s office (CMO) had turned down the proposal of district collector B Venkatesam to postpone the programme at least by a few days as November 13 is Karthika Pournami.
Initially, the CM wanted to visit the district on November 9, four days after Yuvagarjana. But, he had rescheduled his road show by another four days. It may be recalled that the CM had visited the north coastal districts just days after Praja Rajyam party chief Chirjanjeevi finished his maiden yatra in the region.
He would tour four constituencies Macherla, Gurazala, Pedakurapadu and Sattenapalle as part of Rajiv Palle Bata programme on November 13. He had already visited Macherla and Sattenapalle as part of his Nagarabata tour in the past. In all likelihood, YSR would start his tour from Rentachintala in Macherla constituency and touch villages in Dachepalli, Piduguralla, Bellamkonda, Rajupalem mandals before reaching Sattenapalle by evening. He would address a public meeting at Sattenapalle and reach Guntur where he would interact with city party workers and leaders.
Minister refuses to receive CM
Sarva Siksha Abhiyan minister Murugudu Hanumantha Rao is said to have refused to host Rajasekhara Reddy in his constituency during the CM’s tour next week.
Rao, a two-time legislator from the weaver’s community, represents Mangalagiri constituency in which the TDP organized the Yuvagarjana meeting.
According to sources, a shocked chief minister’s office (CMO) is believed to have asked other ministers from the district to look into Rao’s refusal. The minister, who has a running a battle with local mandal parishad president B Nageswara Rao, also has differences with all the public representatives in his constituency.
Sources said the minister reportedly requested the CMO that he would personally explain the ‘situation’ to the CM.