The Chief Electoral Officer, Dr.I.V.Subbarao told media that there will be separate information booths in several urban areas to give prior information to voters about the existence of their names in the voter list. Election Watch would be involved in the task of providing information.
PRP Rajhamundry Lok Sabha Constituency candidate Krishnam Raju , while conducting road show at Chagallu, faints and fell down in his campaigning vehicle. He was rushed to nearest hospital in Rajhamundry for treatment. He is said to be effected by sun-stroke. His condition is stable and slowly improving.
According to party sources, Praja Rajyam party president Chiranjeevi may visit him tomorrow. His close friend Murali Mohan, who is contesting against him as a TDP Lok Sabha candidate, visited him at hospital and wished for his early recovery.
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With the second phase of poll date nearing, TDP’s smile is beginning to widen what with indications that the party could easily bag
eight out of 14 assembly constituencies in Krishna district where it received a drubbing in the last elections. The PRP is also on a leatherhunt by giving Congress a run for its money.
Both ministers in the YSR cabinet – Pinnamaneni Venkateswara Rao (Gudivada) and Mandali Budhaprasad (Avanigadda) – are far behind PRP candidates Ravi Venkateswara Rao and Simhadri Ramesh. “The ministers could be fighting for the second or third slots,” an analyst said.
The other minister Koneru Ranga Rao, who took voluntary retirement from politics, was left as a mute spectator even as TDP had made huge inroads in his home constituency of Tiruvur. Congress nominees – D Padma Jyothy, Parameswara Rao and D Y Das from Tiruvur, Nandigama and Pamarru respectively – are lagging behind their TDP opponents due to severe infighting among the Congress leaders.
Sources said the winning chances of TDP candidates in SC constituencies are bright, while local MP Lagadapati Rajagopal was exposed for not picking up the momentum in some of the assembly seats.
Senior PRP leader Buragadda Vedavyas, however, is finding the going tough at Machilipatnam where no local leader is backing him. Both Vedavyas and Congress candidate Perni Venkateswara Rao alias Nani are laying focus on Kapu voters, while TDP candidate Kollu Ravindra, a fisherman, is banking on his community people’s support.
Sources said Congress candidates Devineni Nehru (Vijayawada East), M V P Apparao (Nuziveedu), K P Saradhi (Penamalur), S Udayabhanu (Jaggaiahpet) are going strong where as Buddhaprasad (Avanigadda), Jogi Ramesh (Pedana), Perni Nani (Machilipatnam), Malladi Vishnu (Central) and Padma Jyothi (Tiruvur) are up against some serious challenge from both TDP and PRP nominees.
However, Prajarajyam’s Vangaveeti Radhakrishna in Central and Srinivas in West segment are looking confident and have fair chances of snatching the seats from their rivals. “The contest is very strong in six assembly segments where the Congress and TDP could share the honours,” a political observer from Tenali said.
The hot beauty Anushka is one girl who has been getting very famous, more than megastar Chiranjeevi himself. It is heard that recently, the famous director Kodi Ramakrishna was sharing his thoughts with a group of his close friends and he was talking about his movies.
Kodi is said to have mentioned that when he made ‘Anji’ with Chiranjeevi, the expectations were very high but the movie bombed miserably at the box office. On the other hand, when he made ‘Arundhati’ with Anushka, he was not that over confident and the result turned to be overwhelming.
Grapevine says that Kodi was saying stardom is just an eye wash and what really matters is presence and performance. That way he was said to be giving good scores to Anushka than Chiru himself. With a director of that caliber giving such ratings, it is indeed something to think of.
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Asaduddin Owaisi, MIM chief and Hyderabad Lok Sabha candidate alleged that A K Mohanty, Director General of Police (DGP) was showing bias while dealing with political parties. He said that the DGP had overstepped his official duties to ensure the victory of the Telugu Desam Party from his constituency.
Facing a barrage of TV cameras, Owasi dare the DGP to shed his uniform and contest against him in election.
He was reacting to the re-poll ordered in some of the booths in his constituency.
According to Election Commission sources, the Chief Electoral Officer has taken a serious note of the remarks of Owasi since the DGP is also an electoral official.
Observers say that Owasi might get into serious trouble with the Code of Conduct.
With so much happening on the election front, it must be said that many have been looking at few key areas where some powerful candidates have been fighting with each other. One among that happens to be the Rajahmundry segment which has three big names – Undavalli, Murali Mohan and Krishnamraju for election on 23rd April.
While Undavalli seems to be ready with a plan by YS, Murali Mohan has been campaigning aggressively and is said to be spending quite a lot. But it looks like rebel star Krishnamraju seems to be in a very different mode of campaigning and different mood of contesting.
Although Krishnam Raju is campaigning for PRP’s sake, he is driving himself to relax as soon as possible in the evening. Sources close to him say that Krishnamraju has been quite keen on having a full bottle and good chicken than do some aggressive campaigning. As it is, the dissidence has been high in that area with the appointment of Krishnamraju so one hopes that the rebel star gets furious with his canvassing than full bottle and chicken.
Murali Mohan on the other hand is spending his evenings in chalking out plans for his next day.
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The mainstream political parties have started segment-wise analysis of the winning prospects of their party candidates in the first phase of elections.
All the parties are convinced that they will win majority of the seats in the first phase and have an upper hand in the second phase of elections which will be held on April 23.
Speculative reports in the regional media, based on poll trends gave a clear lead to the Grand Alliance led by the Telugu Desam. Out of the 154 Assembly seats, the reports suggest that the GA will get anywhere between 100 to 110 seats. The lead is attributed to the successful promotion of the colour TVs and Cash Transfer Schemes. The reports prompted the TD chief, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, to issue advertisements in select vernacular newspapers thanking voters for “reimposing the confidence in him and thanking them for helping the party win.”
He also said the new schemes announced by him had gone well in the polls. The TD chief told party leaders to focus on the remaining seats without being complacent. The internal assessment of the party was that it will win 80 out of the 154 Assembly seats. It requires another 70 to get a majority.
On account of these projections, several Congressmen contesting the second phase of elections, enquired from their counterparts in Telangana about the prospects of the party.
Meanwhile, sources in the intelligence department gave a report on the poll trends orally to the Chief Minister. It gave 18 to 20 seats to the Congress in the north coastal region, and 40-45 seats in the Telangana region. It projected that the GA would have a small edge over the Congress in the Telangana region, and gave 60 seats to the alliance and another six to eight seats in the north coastal area.
KEY CONSTITUENCY: Tirupati
This temple town has been in the political limelight ever since Telugu megastar Chiranjeevi decided to contest from this prestigious Tirupati Assembly constituency.
In fact, it was from here last August that Konidela Chiranjeevi launched his ‘Praja Rajyam Party’ to capture power in Andhra Pradesh on the twin planks of ‘social justice’ and ‘social security.’
Significantly, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founder, the late N.T. Rama Rao, chose the same constituency to make his electoral debut in 1983, when he went on to break the Congress’ hegemony in the State.
Mr. Chiranjeevi is also contesting from Palacole in his native West Godavari district to satisfy ‘local sentiment,’ but says his candidature in Tirupati is to fulfil ‘divine sentiment.’
The entry of ‘Chiru,’ as he is fondly known by his fans, has pepped up what otherwise have been a sedate contest in a constituency in which the Congress and TDP have shared the honours almost equally.
With its four lakh population, the town is fast emerging as a major educational and economic hub. The burgeoning city has expanded so much that its peripheral areas have been delinked during delimitation exercise and annexed to the contiguous Chandragiri, once the capital of the Vijayanagara rulers.
Locking horns with the matinee idol are B. Karunakar Reddy of the Congress, a former Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam (TTD) Board Chairman and blue-eyed boy of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, and K. Sankar Reddy of the TDP, a close associate of former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and a former Tirupati Municipal Corporation chairperson. G. Bhanuprakash Reddy is the BJP candidate.
But for the ‘Chiru’ factor, the contest in Tirupati would otherwise be a neck and neck race between two formidable candidates of two equally formidable parties. Mr. Chiranjeevi is a huge crowd-puller; but it remains to be seen whether this will translate into votes.
The Congress and the TDP downplay the crowd factor as mere cinema glamour, but Chiru fans and members of his community — Balijas/Kapus who have thrown their lot behind him almost en masse — call it wishful thinking. Incidentally, the Balija community is the single largest in Tirupati, with 23,000 voters.
While Mr. Karunakar Reddy pins his hopes on the work he did for Tirupati-Tirumala as TTD Chairman, Mr. Sankar Reddy, the former civic chief, is confident that his developmental work will see him through.
Mr. Chiranjeevi’s image and the PRP’s hype has taken a beating in the last one week after resignations by senior party leaders alleging huge kickbacks in the allotment of party tickets to business tycoons. But, the ‘Chiru’ factor is too big to be ignored.
It’s election time and there is a lot of scope for the media to cook up wonderful scoops.
Just as Sakshi brought out Naidu tapes scandal, another Telugu daily Surya has come out with a highly imaginative “scoop” to entertain the readers. According to this exclusive story, Telugu Desam star campaigner Jr NTR was injured on the day of Ugadi not because of accident, but because of a “Kshudra Pooja” performed by the Congress leaders. And this was found out by some priests who closely studied his horoscope after the accident.
The report says the detractors of Jr NTR performed Kala Bhairava Aghora poojas for 10 days at Trisur in Kerala prior to the incident. As many as eight sorcerers participated in this pooja, which was supervised by an IAS officer, who earlier worked in Kerala as Collector and is now in Hyderabad. It was because of this Kala Bhairava pooja that Jr NTR had to apply sudden brakes on seeing a dog on the road, which led to the accident.
And the story suggests a remedy too. Jr NTR has to perform Rudra Pooja as per Rudra Mayalaya Tantram. And he will be back to business in 10-15 days!
How about making a film based on this story?
According to a countrywide survey conducted for The Week magazine, the UPA is expected to get 234 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections with Congress emerging as the single largest party with 144 seats.
The survey has projected 186 seats for the opposition NDA with BJP being victorious on 140 seats, while the Third Front will be cornering 112 seats.
The Week-CVoter survey projected senior BJP leader L K Advani as the best choice for the post of Prime Minister with the backing of 15 % of those interviewed followed closely by incumbent Manmohan Singh, who found favour with 14% participants.
Among the UPA ranks, the Congress has been predicted to win 144 seats followed by Samajwadi Party (32), NCP (13), DMK and allies (13), Trinamool Congress (11), RJD-LJP (15), UDF (2), National Conference (3) and JMM (1).
In the NDA, the BJP is projected to win 140 seats followed by JD(U) (18), Shiv Sena (12), Asom Gana Parishad (5), Akali Dal (5), RLD (4) and INLD (2).
Among the Third Front, Left parties are projected to win 33 seats followed by BSP (29), AIADMK and allies (24), TDP/TRS (14), BJD (9), JDS (2), HVM (1), Chiranjeevi’s fledgling PRP (2) and others (9).