More than a flying visit

During his maiden visit to the Kanaka Durga temple here after becoming Chief Minister of Telangana, K. Chandrasekhar Rao was the cynosure of all eyes. The police had their task cut out and fortunately, everything went on smoothly. The breaking news-hungry media corps were, however, a disappointed lot as KCR cold-shouldered them. A battery of print and electronic media persons reached the hilltop to cover the event and got a podium arranged for KCR to say a few words about his trip. Their wait for more than three hours went in vain as KCR simply walked away without uttering a word.

In contrast, a host of Telangana Rashtra Samithi leaders who reached the temple well in advance, readily obliged the media by commenting on the plight of Andhra Pradesh. Such was the buzz around the visit of KCR and his party leaders and the feeling of bonhomie was all-pervasive.

Dissent? No, it’s democracy!

A voice of dissent in a party may be seen as a serious threat by the leadership. But for the Congress, it is no reason to fret. Groupism and bickering are not new for this over a century-old party which tactfully terms such displays ‘internal democracy.’

There have been press conferences or public meetings culminating in fights where members of splinter groups almost came to blows, or leaders openly challenging or criticising party’s decisions on key issues or holding parallel press conferences to make their point, all in the name of ‘internal democracy.’

The visit of the party’s AP Mahila Congress affairs in-charge Seethakka to Andhra Ratna Bhavan to attend the Mahila Congress wing’s executive party meeting was no exception. It triggered resentment, albeit in hushed tones, among a few local senior leaders who see Ms. Seethakka and a few others of her ilk as the cause for senior leaders leaving the party.

Why aren’t the party leaders raising their voice, one wonders. “She belongs to the kitchen cabinet of the top leaders,” rued one of the disgruntled leaders pleading anonymity.

Salutations that matter

In a way, it is address, salutation and gestures made while greeting a person that speak volumes of the office he is holding, and his intimacy and relationship with addressee. It was evident at the inauguration of the Basavatarakam Indo American Cancer Hospital and Research Institute clinic and information centre in the city on Sunday. The salutations were different though all the speakers were referring to Hindupur MLA Nandamuri Balakrishna, who is close to powers that be in the State. Vijayawada (Central) MLA Bonda Umamaheswara Rao called him Balakrishna anna (big brother) and Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas (Nani) addressed him as “our beloved leader.” Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao referred to him as “Balayya babu” — a name more popular in cine circles. Then it was the turn of Assembly Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao, to address him as “honourable trust board chairman.”

Across the divide

City Mayor Koneru Sreedhar was visibly enthusiastic about the visit of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao to the city and Kanakadurga temple recently. The first citizen’s eagerness to meet Mr. Rao became apparent when he tried and got a few photographs with the man Later, when asked, Mr. Sreedhar revealed the reason: a TRS MLA — Koneru Konappa from Siripuram constituency — is his cousin .

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