A turbulent 2011 for Kiran govt

The year 2011 for Andhra Pradesh started off with the gory broad daylight murder of Surya Narayana Reddy, alias Suri, the faction leader who inspired Ram Gopal Verma’s flick on faction killing, “Rakta Charitra.”  

While Bhanu, Suri’s trusted comrade who allegedly compromised the faction leader for money, is still at large,  Vijaywada Police Commissioner Seetharamanjaneyulu was caught red-handed, sending lewd messages to women complainants.

Politics in the state became more eventful than ever with eyebrows being raised over the late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s alleged nexus with the mining barons of Bellary, the Reddy brothers and the call for an independent Telangana gaining momentum.

While entrepreneurs from the Rayalseema region put up signboards pledging support for a new state, students of Osmania University resorted to self-immolation demanding an independent Telangana.

State government employees of the Telangana region launched a non-cooperation movement, with the state exchequer incurring heavy losses. Similarly, the frequent rail-rokos organised by the Telangana Joint Action Committee caused great inconvenience to travellers. The Kiran Kumar Reddy government, reeling under surmounting political pressures, found a new ally in actor-turned-politician Konidela Sivasankatra Varaprasad alias Chiranjeevi, who formally merged his Praja Rajyam Party with the Congress in February.

Meanwhile, spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba breathed his last in a super-speciality hospital in his home town Puttaparthi in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, after a cardio-respiratory failure. He was 86.

However, reports of valuables stashed in the secret chamber of Sathya Sai’s Yajurmandir and a cash haul by the police along the Karnataka border maligned the Sathya Sai Trust’s image, with Puttaparthy registering a sharp decline in footfall.

The action then shifted to Kadapa district, where Jaganmohan Reddy, son of the late Rajasekhara Reddy, launched a campaign to destabilise the state government, by mobilising a number of Congress legislators against Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy.

However, the illegal mining in Bellary by the Reddy brothers hogged limelight round the year.

While Gali Janardhan Reddy and his brother-in-law B V Srinivas were arrested on the charge of illegal mining, reports of their alleged nexus with Jagan shocked the state.

The mining barons suffered another setback after the alleged role of two senior government officials, Y Srilakshmi and V D Rajagopal, in facilitating grant of mining leases to Gali Janardhan Reddy’s firms, came to light.

Meanwhile, the CBI, which had stepped up investigations into Jagan’s wealth, unravelled fudged accounts in the YSR-scion’s publishing house. This time, fingers were pointed at an auditor from the multinational company, Deloitte.

Later in the year, the pro-Telangana factions launched a month-long strike before K Chandrasekhar Rao called it off amidst allegations of securing a Rs 4,000 crore contract for the Polvaram project in coastal Andhra.

The common man continued to suffer under prolonged power-cuts after coal production at the state-owned Singareni Collieries took a hit.

Calls for an independent Telangana were fuelled by the death of Maoist commander Kishenji in a police encounter in West Bengal and his cremation at Pedapalli village in Karimnagar district in the Telangana region and B J P lea­der L K Advani’s “rathyatra.”

Surprisingly, the proponents of independent Telangana movement, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti and Telangana political joint action committee remained silent all through.

The year-end saw the CBI, Jagan and Chandra Babu gaining public sympathy.  While the CBI dealt mercilessly with the offenders, Kiran achieved peace in the warring state and Naidu entered Telangana after a year on the pretext of far­mer’s issues.

The CBI on Saturday filed a 186-page charge sheet in the court of Special Judge for CBI cases against Gali Janardhan Reddy, B V Srinivasa Reddy, V D Rajagopal  and the late R Linga Reddy. 

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