Recently, two mutually exclusive political developments took place in the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Raghurama Krishnam Raju, Lok Sabha member from the ruling YSRCP who openly revolted against the party and its supremo and Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, has been arrested by AP Police in Hyderabad and jailed.
The rebel MP moved the Supreme Court and got bail. He is now busy meeting Union ministers and the Lok Sabha Speaker, demanding action against Andhra Pradesh CID officers who, he charged, had physically attacked and injured him while he was in custody. On the SC’s directives, he was examined and treated at the Army Hospital in Secunderabad. He then alleged Jagan Mohan Reddy had exerted pressure on the Army hospital authorities to discharge him.
Raghurama Raju’s open revolt came after he filed a petition in a CBI court to cancel the bail of Jagan and other accused who, the MP charged, were influencing witnesses and tampering with evidence in the quid pro quo case that allegedly benefitted Jagan before he entered active politics after the demise of his father and then Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. The CBI court has admitted the rebel MP’s petition. Amid speculations in a section of media that the CBI court may dismiss Jagan’s bail, the AP Chief Minister has visited Delhi and met some Union ministers, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Interestingly, Jagan’s wife, Y S Bharathi, director of media companies that the family owns, accompanied him for the first time on his Delhi trip.
In Telangana, Etela Rajender was dropped as finance minister from the cabinet. Rajender, who was considered No. 2 to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao right from the time of the movement demanding statehood for Telangana, was sacked following allegations that he and his family members have grabbed lands from weaker sections. Rajender, who hails from a BC community, accused KCR with intentionally removing him from the cabinet on frivolous grounds.
The former minister has now quit the ruling TRS and resigned as MLA as well before joining the BJP in Delhi in the presence of party president J P Nadda. When Rajender was dropped from cabinet on allegations of land grab, it was the opposition Congress and BJP who supported him. Now, Rajender says he will mobilise BC groups against KCR in support of the BJP.
While everyone in the country is worried about the possible third wave of corona, in Andhra Pradesh, Anandaiah, a herbal doctor, created a storm in media with his plant-based medicines. For the past several weeks, videos have been appearing of people taking Anandaiah’s medicine and recovering in minutes in his village near Krishnapatnam in Nellore district of AP. Thousands of people with acute symptoms of corona have started lining up for his medicine.
The AP government quickly intervened and stopped the distribution of medicine, saying the AYUSH department and the ICMR should certify it. AYUSH subsequently gave the green signal saying they had found no harmful substance in the medicine. With that, now the AP government itself is supervising the distribution of medicine.
Opposition leaders, especially from the TDP, allege Anandaiah is being made to prepare medicine exclusively for ruling party ministers, public representatives and supporters. In any case, Anandaiah has started distributing the medicine first in his district and said he will distribute it free of cost to everyone who needs it.
Digital farm land survey
Back in Telangana, for the first time after 80 years, KCR decided to conduct a digital survey of agriculture lands in the state. Accordingly, a pilot digital survey will be conducted in 27 villages all over the state. KCR has been talking about such a survey for some time now. The last land survey was conducted 80 years ago, under the then Nizam’s rule. A vain attempt was made to carry out a detailed land survey within the united Andhra Pradesh when P V Narasimha Rao was the chief minister.
KCR is of the opinion that once a comprehensive survey is done and boundaries of all lands in the state fixed once and for all, there will not be any scope for land disputes, which is the main cause for law and order problems in Telangana. The government’s aim is to conduct a digital survey of agriculture lands in the state, fix the coordinates, and thereby provide total security and protection to pattadars on a permanent basis. He believes that once land disputes are settled, the GDP of the state will go up by 3–4 per cent.
Further, the CM wants digital survey agencies to conduct the survey based on the traditional method of ‘Tipan Naksha’. He also suggested that a Gram Sabha be conducted, to create awareness among people about the survey before conducting it.
If the digital survey, as conceived and planned by KCR happens, it will be a milestone in the history of newly formed Telangana state. The AP CM is also planning something on similar lines.
The writer is a senior journalist based in Hyderabad