Off the record

Off the record

AP CM’s austerity

The residual state of Andhra Pradesh has a revenue deficit of more than 15,000 crore and the budget has made no promise on any grant for the construction of new state capital.

Meanwhile, all the Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu could do is enjoy the hospitality of Telangana state and share the secretariat and other common facilities.

Naidu, who recently paid a surprise visit to the AP side of the secretariat, deplored the state of affairs. However, the people on the Telangana side of the secretariat have their own version to share.

They say that Naidu with his penchant for vaastu has deliberately left the fully furnished office space done at an estimated cost of Rs 3 crore in the H block and decided to shift to L block.

Now the works have begun at a cost of Rs 10 crore and this would take another three months to complete. The hot discussion in the lobbies of Telangana secretariat is why so much expenditure for a government which eventually shift to its capital, very soon.

JBS Umanadh

Hyderabad Govt’s gift

It was a "dream" get-together for few journalists, who had planned to cook "Biriyani" and other dishes in the Chennai Press Club recently. After getting into oral deal, a day before, each one of them shared the work and started their preparations from nine in the morning.

For his contribution, a reporter from a leading daily, brought a "brand new mixer grinder", which was supplied to his housewife by the state government under the the "free" distribution scheme, for grinding "masalas".

The "main cook" ordered him to crush the ingredients at once since "masala" had to be mixed immediately to give final touches to the "Biriyani".

However, the reporter, who was assigned for the job, was shocked see that the "mixer grinder" had failed to start even after several attempts. And at one state stage, smoke started emanating from the motor coil continuously before the wire was disconnected.

Finally, a lady, who was working as a sweeper in the club, came to their rescue, took the job into her hands and prepared the much needed "masala" in the traditional grindstone. Later, it was a full and happy meal for the journos.


Chennai Flexi-war

Flexi-board wars in Kerala, largely reserved for fans of popular actors and supporters of political leaders, were taken to a new level during the FIFA World Cup.

Much ahead of the tournament, fans of Argentina and Brazil had started sparring on fan-made posters, banners and flexi-boards.

Germany’s stunning 7-1 rout of Brazil in the semi-final had led to celebrations by Argentina fans in football-crazy Malabar. The joy was short-lived for admirers of Lionel Messi and his men as Argentina went down to Germany in the final. Supporters of Brazil hit back with a mock-funeral of the Argentina squad.

Soon, the flexi-boards were out too. One of them – with a picture of injury-hit Brazil striker Neymar who missed the semi-final – dared the Germans: “Don’t boast after raiding a house when the men were not around! Let’s meet after four years”. Wonder what the other Brazilian players have to say on that!

R Krishnakumar, Thiruvananthapuram.

Cold response

A “curt and indifferent” response from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in reply to a letter by the Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh has left the former CM dismayed.

On June 30, Capt Singh wrote to Prime Minister Modi urging him to formulate a national drug policy to tackle the rampant drug trade in the country, particularly in Punjab. To Capt Singh’s letter, Modi merely replied, “I have received your letter of June, 30, 2014 regarding the problem of drug addiction in Punjab”. 

Capt Singh says Modi’s ‘cold’ response on the issue has left him disappointed. The former CM had also drawn Modi’s attention to the grave problem of drug addiction that was afflicting the youth in most parts of the country and Punjab in particular.

The MP said mere acknowledgement was pointless and reflects NDA government’s lack of sincerity in tackling drug menace in the country.

Gautam Dheer, Chandigarh

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