His Brother's Keeper
After Pawan Kalyan's thunderous debut with a fiery two-hour speech to launch his Jana Sena, ambiguity continues about whether he will actually contest the polls. The 43-year-old actor, with his slogan " Congress hatao, desh bachao", has made it clear that he is inclined towards the Telugu Desam and the BJP. Pawan Kalyan has said that he currently does not have the manpower or resources to fight an election. In other words, if Pawan does contest, it would have to be with the backing of these parties. Pawan Kalyan's scathing criticism of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Jairam Ramesh and P Chidambaram among many others has meanwhile left his older brother and Union Minister K Chiranjeevi blushing. Chiranjeevi says that he had no inkling of Pawan's plans to launch the Jana Sena or take on the Congress. While Pawan Kalyan refrained from attacking his brother personally, saying the Congress high command was to blame for the distance between the siblings, it is now up to Chiranjeevi to clear up the mess.
The union minister says he deputed his other brother Nagababu “to drill some sense” into Pawan Kalyan but to no avail. While Pawan Kalyan's exact party agenda is unclear, one thing is for sure, he's a great speaker and has immense star value. Little wonder then that Naidu has initiated back channel talks with Pawan's close friend, director Trivikram Srinivas, to lure the actor into the Telugu Desam.
Some sources say that Pawan Kalyan wants three Lok Sabha (Kakinada, Malkajgiri and Vijayawada) seats and tickets for 30 Assembly constituencies in exchange for any tie-up.
On Pawan Kalyan's entry into politics, senior Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao had snidely remarked, "What lessons is a thrice-married actor going to impart to society. Will he now teach everyone how to acquire a fourth wife as well?" Reacting to this in his entry speech at Novotel Hotel, Pawan Kalyan asked Hanumantha Rao to refrain from personal attacks. "If you get down to attacking me personally, I will do the same. If being thrice-married is wrong, then what about the Delhi Congress leaders who are married once but have 30 affairs. Is that okay with you Mr Hanumantha Rao?" asked Pawan. The actor also made a reference to Rahul Gandhi who is unmarried. "Mr Hanumantha Rao, is that your grouse? That your leader Rahul Gandhi is unmarried? All the Congressmen harp on Rahul Gandhi not being married but nobody says he is a brahmachaari (virgin)," said Pawan with a taunting smile.
We Are Family
Till his political entry, Pawan Kalyan had kept his status with current partner Anna Lezhneva under wraps. But of late, some photos have been doing the rounds which show him with Anna and his two daughters. While he shares one child (a girl) with Anna, he has two children with his former wife Renu Desai, a son and a daughter.
To Defeat A 'Psycho'
Telugu Desam supremo Chandrababu Naidu is on a high. Congress leaders are joining his party by the droves and suddenly his image as a leader has received a major boost. Several MLAs and MLCs from the leading party are joining the TDP as they see no point in hanging around in the Congress anymore. Former minister D L Ravindra Reddy, who many thought would join Kiran Kumar Reddy's Jai Samaikyandhra Party, is now singing praises of Naidu. The TDP might field him in the Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency where YSR Congress chief is currently an MP. "Naidu is the only leader with the capacity to defeat a psycho like Jagan," says Ravindra Reddy.
Talk is that Jagan himself might contest from the Pulivendula Assembly constituency which is currently held by his mother Y S Vijayalakshmi. Nothing is certain yet about whether his sister Sharmila would contest the elections.
A Tale Of Two States
The plight of the Congress in Seemandhra is pitiable. Recently appointed Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Raghuveera Reddy is making fervent appeals to Congress leaders to remain with the grand old party. "It is your duty to be with the party at this critical juncture. The party will remain as it is. It has 127 years of history and will live on. I request you all to return to the party," says Raghuveera.
Meanwhile, his counterpart in Telangana, TPCC chief Ponnala Lakshmaiah too is not having a smooth sailing. Gone is the cool Ponnala who fended off every anti-Congress query with a smile. Ever since the Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao made it clear that there will be no tie-up with the Congress, Ponnala is extremely jittery. The TRS chief has been engineering defections from the Congress. His recent catch being former minister Konda Surekha and her husband Murali. It looks like Surekha would receive an MLA ticket while husband Murali would get one as an MLC. So instead of talking about his vision for Telangana, all Ponnala does these days is lambast KCR at every given chance. 3
Hugs and Kisses
YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy has increased the tempo of his campaign. Campaigning in Rajahmundry, Jagan is back to hugging people and kissing elderly women on his poll trail. He sticks to the pro-poor manifesto and continues to promise the “golden raj” that his father, the late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy brought during his rule. During his campaign, Jagan makes it a point to name Chandrababu Naidu as the main villain of the piece in the bifurcation story. Apart from that, he also tells people that he will convert Seemandhra into a Gujarat with four ports and a prosperous farming sector. Now, is this an overture towards BJP and Narendra Modi or just a compliment, one wonders.
Thoda Sa Romani Ho Jaaye
By now, most cinema lovers have seen Queen and loved it. The crisp air of freedom in the film, nuanced ever so deliciously by Kangana Ranaut, is getting many single women to look afresh at their fiancés. And yes, who (I am talking about my gender here) would not want to bump into a dreamy Italian chef while on a trip abroad? Queen dared where English Vinglish hesitated. Queen’s Rani gives his jaws a slow workout before she plunges headlong into a kiss with the dishy Italian. Sridevi simply flutters her eyelashes and runs away from her French admirer. The hitch of course is that in English Vinglish, Sridevi is married and simply looking for some “respect”. For some reason, Bollywood film-makers assume that when a woman is on a journey of self-discovery, romance is not what she wants. Really? Why not? What’s wrong with a bit of romance? The 1987 hit Telugu film Padamati Sandhyaraagam is one of the best Indian movies on East-West romances yet. Its lead characters, Vijayashanti (Medak MP and Congress politician) and Thomas Jane lit up the screen with their gentle romance which beats the language barrier. The film had superb music by S P Balasubramanyam and showcased the confusion of Sandhya (Vijayashanti) in a foreign land. And her love for Chris (Thomas Jane) is not just filmi, it is like the love that happens to you and me. For those who haven’t seen this film, I’d recommend an immediate watch. Vijayashanti is every bit as powerful as Kangana, if not more so.