His Father's Son
YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy's will as a politician seems to be least affected by the ongoing CBI probe. His father Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy's strength lay in attracting leaders from various castes and districts and keeping them together. Jagan is slowly learning his father's craft. Aware of the increasing differences between Telugu Desam president Chandrababu Naidu and actor-nephew NTR Jr, Jagan is wooing NTR Jr's supporters in Krishna district. While one of them, Vangaveeti Radha has joined Jagan's party, another leader Vallabhaneni Vamsi hugged Jagan in full media glare as the YSR Congress leader toured Vijayawada. This has rattled the Telugu Desam party which has a strong presence in Krishna district. NTR Jr is miffed with Naidu since the Telugu Desam imposed a bandh in Krishna district on the same day that the actor's film Dammu was released. NTR Jr is said to have encouraged good friend Vamsi to meet Jagan just in order to irritate Naidu. In fact many of the dialogues in Dammu are political and have NTR Jr taking potshots at both Naidu and Chiranjeevi. Jagan has also swooped in on senior actor Mohan Babu who recently announced his intent to join politics. Naidu has been wooing Mohan Babu ardently and just as the TD camp was feeling certain that the actor was in the bag, Jagan played another ace. He paid Mohan Babu a visit at his house in Jubilee Hills. Jagan's cousin Veronica is married to Mohan Babu's actor-son Vishnu and the family bond might play a crucial role now in Mohan Babu's decision.
CD After CD
Small-time actress Tara Chowdary who was running a sex racket and was arrested a month ago is fast turning out to be AP's Pamella Bordes. Tara recorded intimate moments with politicians and bureaucrats and stored them carefully in CDs. When Tara was arrested about a month ago, many top politicians began shivering in their shoes. One such opposition MLA moved heaven and earth and has managed to grab the CD featuring him. Visitors to Tara's love nest include a recently retired IPS officer, an ageing Telugu actor, some MPs, mayors and IAS officers. The ageing actor who has also flirted with politics apparently used to beat up his wife till she called up Tara and fixed an appointment for him. A junior IAS officer who is now joint collector in a key district makes anxious enquiries with mediapersons about the progress in Tara's case almost every day. West Zone DCP Stephen Ravindra is heading the probe. It is estimated that there are 90 such explosive CDs which have several VVIPs in various stages of undress. Apart from the videographic evidence, Tara has also recorded telephone conversations where her premium clients make appointments with her and have revealing conversations. Apart from her own sleaze diary, Tara also forced several innocent girls into the flesh trade. Cops say she is singing like a canary but the big names are not being made public because too many vested interests are involved in the case.
Rajya Sabha MP T. Subbarami Reddy is a man who does everything in style. His parties in Delhi are legendary and his ability to draw the bold and beautiful is well-known. So when his Rs 700 crore luxury hotel Park Hyatt opened in Hyderabad, it was only natural that the guest list read like a galaxy of VVIPs. Seven union ministers, film stars, business leaders apart from the usual Page 3 suspects were present at the grand opening. The Hyderabad venture is the second luxury hotel of the Hyatt group in India, the first being in Goa. Subbarami Reddy's Gayatri Group is planning to launch a Hyatt Regency Hotel in Visakhapatnam too. The Central ministers in attendance were Praful Patel, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kamal Nath, Vilas Rao Deshmukh, Subodh Kant Sahay and S. Jaipal Reddy. Much flattery was the order of the evening as Azad described India's hotel industry as better than that of Europe and America. He pitched the ball a little too far though when he described Hyderabad as the cleanest city in the country. Try telling that to the average Hyderabadi who is constantly greeted by sights of overflowing drains, garbage dumps and stray pigs in the twin cities of Secunderabad and Hyderabad. Even the once coveted HiTec City has several civic issues these days. But then, when ruling party leaders are busy patting themselves on the back, it is difficult to interrupt. Also present were Sridevi and Boney Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and daughter Sonam, Hema Malini, Yash Chopra, Jayaprada, Chiranjeevi, Akkineni Nageswara Rao and many other film stars. The hotel even has a room with a portrait of Chiranjeevi. Subbarami Reddy is the likely Congress candidate for the Nellore Lok Sabha bypoll. Nellore is one district in Andhra which boasts of several rich leaders. But when it comes to Subbarami Reddy, who is a devout Lord Shiva bhakt, people have stopped calculating his wealth.
Another man from Nellore district who is in the news is Jagan's auditor and accused No.2 in the CBI chargesheet, Vijay Sai Reddy. CBI says Vijay Sai is the brain behind floating bogus companies to re-route black money into Jagan's business ventures. He was arrested over three months ago and was out on bail briefly before being sent back into prison. On April 30, the CBI court granted him bail once again. In his earlier brief stint of freedom, Vijay Sai Reddy told Sakshi employees that he was quite comfortable in Chanchalguda prison because there were no external pressures there. The other accused in Jagan's illegal assets case are also lodged in the same block. Since Vijay Sai Reddy had special prisoner status, he was allowed to cook his own food and mingle with fellow accused in the same case. He read books, plays badminton and does yoga. While Jagan has been concerned about his employees and fellow investors who are populating the prison, Vijay Sai is a tough cookie who actually enjoyed his stint in qaid
Newly nominated Rajya Sabha member Renuka Chowdhury is emerging as another power centre in state politics. Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy paid her a visit at her Hyderabad residence recently. While Renuka says the CM met her as he had missed attending Renuka's daughter's marriage, Congress leaders believe otherwise. Renuka's interactions with the media on Congress affairs in Andhra Pradesh have increased of late. After Kiran Kumar's visit, she even went as far as to say that there are no plans to change the CM. This is a very different Renuka from the one who used to make quiet trips to her native district Khammam when Y S Rajasekhar Reddy was Chief Minister. She seldom crossed paths with YSR and held her tongue when it came to state politics. But with PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana and Kiran Kumar Reddy constantly involved in a power tussle, many leaders from Delhi like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Vayalar Ravi, AICC secretary K B Krishnamurthy and now Renuka are playing important roles in AP.