‘PRESS’ In AP Divides Into ‘Andhra’ And ‘Telangana’

Just as we were mentioning about differences occurring between family members over the Andhra- Telangana issue, another controversy has been brewing up. This time, it is the more responsible and crucial organ of the society. We are talking about the media circles and their clashes now.

It is heard that even the press has got divided over the Andhra- Telangana issue and reports have been arriving about the arguments happening between staff members. One such incident was between an Editor and a composer over the political disparity which almost led to blows.

While the E-media has been causing more complication by magnifying small things and showing over enthusiasm to sensationalize things, the print media is slowly but steadily experiencing few bumps. The credit for all this divisions and cracks goes to the T-bomb which has been detonated by KCR.

Against all odds, India No.1

Feel good about this. Against all expectations, India clung on to the title of the No 1 Test cricket team in the world as 2009 readied to melt into 2010 on the penultimate day of the year.

At Kingsmead, Durban, in the Test between England and South Africa, Graeme Swann, twirling and tweaking England to a massive win, proved to be our unlikely benefactor.

Against all odds, India end 2009 on top of the ICC’s Test rankings, and England’s win means the reign of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men at the top will extend longer than one would have thought.

South Africa needed to win their four-Test series against England 2-0 or better to displace India. With the first match of the series drawn and England winning the second on Wednesday, South Africa — yapping at India’s heels in the Test rankings — have no way of toppling India. At least not for the moment.

The other contenders, Australia, who dominated the last decade, have even less chance of catching up with India. Currently at No. 3, Australia thrashed Pakistan in Perth to take a 1-0 lead, but they need a 3-0 whitewash to just hang on to their current position.

For India, the first assignment is a light one — two Tests in Bangladesh in January. The real challenge will come in February when South Africa come calling to play two Tests.

Not bad, to be on top as the decade ends. Can anyone say it wasn’t well deserved?

Congress ministers in Andhra decide to withdraw resignation

All the 13 Congress ministers from Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday decided to withdraw their resignation after the Centre’s announcement on holding discussions with political parties of the state.

“We are satisfied with the decision of the Centre to initiate the process of discussions (with 8 recognised political parties).

“We met APCC President D Srinivas who asked us to withdraw the resignation. We have decided to withdraw our
resignation,” Information Minister Geeta Reddy told reporters after the meeting.

The decision comes a day after Union Home Minister P Chidambaram sent an invitation to leaders of 8 parties for
discussions in Delhi on January 5 on the Telangana statehood issue.

The ministers resigned after Chidambaram’s announcement on Dec 23 putting the Telangana issue on the backburner, saying he would initiate wide ranging discussions on the issue.  Earlier on Dec 9, he had announced that the process for Telangana state would be initiated.

Reddy said the ministers had last week represented to the Congress leadership and “we never expected that they will
respond so quickly.”

She thanked Congress President Sonia Gandhi and other senior leaders including Pranab Mukherjee and Ahmed Patel for the Centre’s initiative.

Visa rules relaxed ‘slightly’: Chidambaram

Visa rules regarding the 60-day cooling-off period for tourists have been relaxed “slightly”, Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, he said a foreigner who uses India as a base to go to neighbouring countries can avail of three re-entries within 60 days if he has the sufficient itinerary.

He insisted that an overwhelming majority of tourists visiting India would not be affected by the new visa policy of the government.

To a question, Chidambaram said the Ministry of External Affairs and his ministry are on the same page on the visa issue.

His comment assumes significance as Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor had questioned tightening of visa rules, contending that it could make India “less welcoming” destination for tourists.

Tharoor, however, has faced flak for it with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna asserting that he is the boss of the ministry and making it clear to Tharoor that he has to toe the policies decided by him.

“The broad policy parameters are dictated, decided by the Minister in-charge of External Affairs of this country and everyone will have to fall on the same page,” he had said after a meeting with Tharoor.

Events & Parties Today in HYDERABAD – India

Hazaaron Khwaishein
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 11 a.m. to  6 p.m.
Diara Centre for Culture and Arts, 100 A, Banjara Petals, Road No.5, Banjara Hills Hazaaron Khwaishein is a conceptual painting show by various artists.

Man and Woman
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 11 a.m. to  6 p.m.
ICONART, 1672, SBI Building, Road No.12, Banjara Hills. Subrato Mandal’s exhibition of paintings – Man and Woman, between divine and mundane is a mythopoetical world between man and woman, suspended in timelessness and a space that summons both the earthly and the heavenly. The organic rendering of the human form as nudes with swift strokes and inherent natural textures are reminiscent of nature.

Paintings and Multimedia
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 11 a.m. to  6 p.m.
Chitramayee, Kavuri Hills, Madhapur. An exhibition of paintings by artist Tushar who gives life to his imagination by drawing and filling different colours in his works. He says, “there are no untouchable colours in this universe.” His paintings use different colours to show the wide aspect of the artist’s mind and his power of creation.

Cosmos of Life
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 11 a.m. to  7 p.m.
Alankritha Art Gallery Paintings by Saraswati L. are a glimpse of the harmony existing between man and woman. The exhibition depicts the eternal connection between man and his surroundings.

Special Events
Bite on 2010
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  2 a.m.
Hitex The biggest open air party will have Emcee Isha, Bhangra pop star Bhuppi, Bollywood performer Roshien and DJ Arnold playing progressive, EDM and house.

Contemporary Craft
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 10:30 a.m. to  7 p.m.
Kamala, Balayogi Paryatak Bhavan, Begumpet. Kamala crafts presents an exhibition of home accessories in terracotta, ceramic, paper mache and metal, ethnic bags, bangles and saris.

Jab We Celebrate
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  11:45 p.m.
Hotel Green Park, Greenlands, Begumpet Party with lots of music from 70s till present by guest DJ, fashion show, dance performances, food and wine at Gardenia for Rs2999 per couple. candlelit dinner as you listen to the scintillating ghazals by Khan Ali Khan at “Once Upon a Time” for Rs 849 per person and over night stay for a family at Rs 8, 499 including breakfast and lunch for the next day.

31-12 at Marriott
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  11:45 p.m.
Hyderabad Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre 1-3-1036/1, Opp. Hussain Sagar Lake , Tank Bund Road Live Rock Band with a DJ performing and laser Show at poolside, there will also be live band and themed dinner buffet at restaurants Okra & MoMo Cafe. Bidri will host live Ghazals and a special dinner for the New Year. The Desi King, Times War of The DJ’s Winner & The Aap Jaisa Koi Fame, ” DJ Piyush ” himself spinning the beats that night.

Mystique and Rythm
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 a.m. to  1 a.m.
Taj Krishna, Near City Centre Mall, Banjara Hills The hotel has night long celebration with something special for everyone. DJ James Harcourt heats up the beat as you groove into New Years with exquisite food, wine and music at Ahala. Scintillating Dancers, Bollywood Performers With MC Minoti Parekh and DJ Jay Spinin Hip hop, House, Techno and Bollywood as you feast on an elaborate dinner buffet and select beverages at the grand ball room.

2010 with Sweet Nirvana
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  1 a.m.
Sweet Nirvana Plot No.105, Phase II, Next to State Art Gallery, Kavuri Hills , Madhapur DJ will spin his tracks to get you dancing into the New year as you enjoy a delicious snacks and dinner buffet along with your drinks a Rs.800/- +taxes per couple, Rs.800/- + taxes for singles.

2010 Premier Party
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  1 a.m.
My Cafe Latte, Rainbow Mall, Karkhana The coffee, movie s and conversations place is presenting an eventful newyear party

Ring in 2010 at Liquids
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  1 a.m.
Liquids Again, Bhaskar Plaza, Road No.1,Banjara Hills Party of the year with DJ Alex Malcom and DJ Abhishek playing Hip Hop, House, Commercial, Bollywood. Enjoy spiritslike Indian scotch, whisky,vodka, Rum, Beers, Breezers,Red and white wines, fruit juices,soft drinks, energy drinks with unlimited:- vegetarian and non veg starters at 2799/- per couple and a package deal of party and stay at Bhaskar Plaza at Rs 4799/- per couple.

Newyear Eve at Taj Banjara
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  1 a.m.
Taj Banjara, Road No.1, Banjara Hills Indulge on the last day of the year with an extravagant buffet spread and a live band at Waterside cafe. Celebrate the New Year – With a trendy pop singer (Pratichi Mohopatra of VIVA Fame), dance troupe, international band and a DJ with unlimited liquor and international gastronomy at the lawns. Includes Magic Show, Moving Cartoon Characters, Face Painting, Stick Walkers, Air Gun Shooting, Jugglers, Inflated bouncing Castle, Balloons, Joy Rides, loads of other interesting games & Tons of sheer Entertainment for kids at poolside. Unlimited drinks at Underdeck and Unlimited food from a celebration buffet at the legendary Kebab-e-Bahar restaurant under the gaze of the new year’s sky.

One Party 2010
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  1 a.m.
Novotel – Hyderabad Airport, Near Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Shamshabad DJ Aqeel, the bollywood king will enthrall as DJ Ajay opens the act at the party organised by One Allaince. Big venue, biggest dance floor and biggest party promises big fun.

Celebrate the ITC way
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  3 a.m.
ITC Hotel The Kakatiya, 6-3-1187, Opp. Walden, Begumpet lavish international buffet spread, the best of pavillion and the special midnight buffet , one after the other at the Deccan Pavillion, Chef’s special menu at Kebabs and Kurries, DJ Punjabi MC’s racy mixes at Dublin as you usher in the new year.

Maquerade into newyear
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  2 a.m.
Ellaa Suites, Hill Ridge Springs, Gachibowli Bring in the newyer with the masquerade party with unlimited beer, kebabs and lavish buffet at Rs 999 inclusive of taxes.

Hip hop for life
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  2 a.m.
Grill Room, 1 Avenue, Banjara Hills Sizzlers, steaks, kebabs and music by DJ Andy for the new year eve.

Newyear Bang
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  2 a.m.
Taj Deccan Road.No1 , Banjara Hills International Dj UV, Australian and bollywood dancers, charming Emcee, unending array of global and local cusines and innovative cocktails at the lawns, Popular jazz duo – Jon and nigel with some exotic apirits, wines and Indian and International spirits and extotic brunch at Arena and wicked party at Syn.

2010 Bollywood Ishtyle
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 2 a.m. to  11:45 p.m.
The Golkonda Hyderabad, 09/01/24, Masab Tank Singing spirits -Karaoke Night along with choice of drinks and snacks at the OH, unlimited house brand of alcoholic beverages, snacs and live filipino band at Mayfair, well spread buffet at Melange and an alacarte fare in Nizami style with live ghazals by Mohd Talib at the Jewel of Nizam and a special room package are on offer at the hotel.

New Year Eve
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  2 a.m.
Terrace Bay, 501,5th floor, 6-3-1111/B, Babukhan Mall, Somajiguda DJ Rakesh at the console, party during roof top, drinks and lavish dinner buffet.,

Eating Out
Midnight Biryani
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 11:30 p.m. to  1:15 a.m.
Tulips, Hotel Green Park, Greenlands, Begumpet Tulips is serving an array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian biryanis. Other delicacies like haleem, sheermal, paneer burjee and desserts are also available.

Evening Snacks
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 4 p.m. to  6 p.m.
Promenade, Aditya Park, Ameerpet. An array of South and North Indian snacks and light meals.

Southern Delicacies
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. noon to  3 p.m.
Deccan Pavilion, Hotel ITC The Kakatiya, Begumpet. Hyderabadi biryanis and kebabs along with other Chinese and Continental cuisines. Also on the menu are soups, salads, cold cuts, pastas and desserts.

Snacks and Desserts Buffet
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 4 p.m. to  7 p.m.
Sweet Nirvana, Kavuri Hills, Madhapur. A variety of savoury snacks like chicken barbecue and desserts.

Lunch Buffet
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 12:30 p.m. to  3 p.m.
Tandoor, White House Building, Begumpet. North Indian buffet of peas pulao, paneer tikka, biryanis, desserts and more.

The Cocktail Festival
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. noon to  11:45 p.m.
Novotel Hyderabad, Hitech City, Madhapur. The USP of the drinks is that they match the days of the week, like Mojito Mondays, Tropical Tuesdays, Whiskey-mixed Wednesdays, Tequila Thursdays, Frozen Special Fridays, Sangria Saturdays and Shooter Sundays.

Christmas Special
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 11 a.m. to  8 p.m.
Deli 9 Shop No.16/17, Lifestyle Building , Begumpet Deli 9 celebrates Christmas with traditional plum cakes, gingerbread cookies, yule log, mince pies and many more.

Absolutely Chocolicious
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 11 a.m. to  9 p.m.
Barista Opp. To Satyam, Hitech City , Madhapur Barista Lavazza is introducing new ingredients and flavours like skinny and fiery mochas, aromatic, augar-free and nutty hot chocolates, cappuccino burst, loaded latte, iced chocolate and shakes and many more for the winter season.

Brand New Menu
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 11 a.m. to  8 p.m.
Fusion 9, Road No.1, Banjara Hills. This new menu highlights the Art of Global Cuisine. From thin crust wood fired pizzas to the Asian Kitchen to Malabari specials, there’s everything and more.

Asian Cuisine
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 7 p.m. to  11 p.m.
Syn Taj Deccan, Road No1 , Banjara Hills Executive Chef Sachin Joshi along with Chef Emmannuel from Philippines and Chef Francis present authentic Pan Asian delights like Thai curry, lotus stem honey chilli, palm hearts, scallops, desserts and many more.

Christmas Offer
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 7 p.m. to  11 p.m.
Taj Banjara, Road No.1, Banjara Hills Two vegetarian and two non-vegetarian snacks with unlimited IMLF liquor and vegetarian and non-vegetarian Biryani buffet.

Fiery Kebabs
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  11:45 p.m.
The Great Kebab Factory, Behind KBR Park, Banjara Hills Bring in the New Years with Non Vegetarian kebabs, Sikandari Raan, Samandari Taj & Burrah Kabab and Vegetarian kebabs, Zaffrani Subz Biryani, Bharwa Aloo Tilwale & Subz Galouti followed by an array of desserts, Kesar Ras Malai, Maalpua Rabri ,Mango Phirni at Rs 850 plus taxes.

House Music Night
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  1 a.m.
Dublin, Hotel ITC The Kakatiya, Opp. to Walden, Begumpet Rocking party tracks by in-house DJ Daman.

From Goa With Love
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  11:45 p.m.
Seasons Bar, Taj Krishna, Road No.1, Banjara Hills. Singer Wahida belts out hit songs from 70s, 80s to latest chart busters.

Newyear Eve Special
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  11:45 p.m.
Hard Rock Cafe, Ground Floor, GVK One Mall, Road No.1, Banjara Hills Resident DJ Errol will spin along all the popular dance hits of the season including a few of bollywood tracks, eat, drink and make merry as you bite into some of the scrumptious snacks the chef has to offer. Unlimited food and drinks for Rs5000 per couple.

Clubbing with DJ Nasha
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  11:45 p.m.
Bottles and Chimney, Eastern Marketing, Near Tirumala Music Center, Begumpet Bollywood and underground bhangra by DJ Nasha and unlimited liquor; all premium brands of liquor & complimentary vgetarian and non vegetarian starters at Rs 3000 per couple.

Fashion Fiesta
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  11:45 p.m.
Xtreme Sports Bar, Plot No.40, Jubilee Hills All the Xtreme outlets in the city promise great fun and fashion fiesta as they call upon the guests to get high for the newyear eve.

New Year Eve Party
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  1 a.m.
10 Downing Street, #10, Lifestyle Building, My Home Tycoon, Begumpet A potent cocktail of music,dance and unbridled revelry to bring the New Year in with inimitable 10 Downing Spirit

Go Gold NewYear Eve
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  1 a.m.
Touch, I Floor, Trendset Towers, Road No.2,Banjara Hills The limited edition party like every year gives you the luxury of two dance foors and two DJs, UK DJ Rosie Romero and DJ Shashank playing house, hiphop, bollywood and bhangra.

Spoil Yourself
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  2 a.m.
Spoil, Siaa Hotel, Road No.1., Jubilee Hills. Crazy night with wacky sounds being belted out by DJ Gani and DJ Amer making you groove to begin a happy and prosperous 2010 at Rs 2499 which includes unlimited beverages and starters.

New Year Eve
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  1 a.m.
Excess, Novotel Hyderabad, HICC and Novotel Complex, Near Hitech City, Madhapur DJ Yogi, DJ Rishab and DJ Manish will rock the newyear eve party.

Acid Test
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 8 p.m. to  1 a.m.
Loe Garden Lonia Holistic Destination, Shameerpet. Mansi Scott, listed as an artist with the best of latest hits will entertain the crowd on the eve of the New Year.

Rendezvous – 2010
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 7 p.m. to  1 a.m.
Syn Taj Deccan, Road No1 , Banjara Hills New Year Celebrations at Lawns with Global & Global cuisines. International DJ and Bollywood performers in the Lawns. Cocktails and drinks. Live Country music a duo band performing exclusively at Arena and Exclusive SYNful evening and party numbers with DJ Knittin.

Season Sale
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 11 a.m. to  9 p.m.
Planet Sports, # 1 and 2, Opp. White House Building, Afzia Towers, Begumpet Up to 40% discount on sports apparel and selected accessories for women and men.

Designer Collection
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 11 a.m. to  8 p.m.
Personna, Road No.8, Banjara Hills. The store has formal and party wear from famous designers like Manoviraj Khosla, Troy De Costa, Wendell Rodricks and many more.

All About Men
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 11 a.m. to  9 p.m.
Westside Fateh Maidan Road , Basheerbagh Westside presents exclusive men’s wear for this winter, displaying formal, casual and party wear and accessories from Ascot. Also get Rs.500/- off on purchase of apparel and accessories above Rs.3000/-.

Fashion Collection
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 11 a.m. to  9 p.m.
Westside Fateh Maidan Road , Basheerbagh Westside presents a new range of youth fashion from Nouville. The collection features funky, stylish Nuon garments created while keeping the current international trend in mind.

Winter Collection
Thursday, December 31st, 2009.
Daram 1-11-255, Naik Estate. Lane beside old Airport , ICICI Bank Lane, Begumpet Wide range of shawls, sweaters, handmade soap and pottery from Uttaranchal is available for sale at this retail outlet of Dastakar Andhra.

Autumn-Winter Collection
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 11 a.m. to  9 p.m.
Peter England, Ground Floor, City Center Mall, Banjara hills Check out the footwear collection for autumn and winter for women and men.

Christmas Carnival
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 6 p.m. to  9 p.m.
Lifestyle Near White House , Kundanbagh Enjoy Christmas with special offers. Shop for Rs7000 and get a gift voucher worth Rs750.

Envious Collection
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 11 a.m. to  10 p.m.
Envy Near Cancer Hospital, Road No.10. , Banjara Hills New collection for Christmas and New years eve is on display at the store – International designer wear, hot party outfits, cool casuals, smart handbags and crazy foot fashion for men and women. Few of the international brands available are Paul Smith, Fred Perry, Dolce Gabbana, Valentino, Chanel, Bcbg, Karen Millen, Louis Vuitton, Dianne Von Furstenberg, Diesel, Takeshy Kurosawa and Emporio Armani.

Party Perfect
Thursday, December 31st, 2009. 11 a.m. to  9 p.m.
Elahe, Milestone 476, Road No.10, Banjara Hills Bring in the newyear with party essentials featuring evening gowns, dresses, skirts, tops, tunics and Indian wear.

Ruchika Case: Rathore’s Bail Plea Rejected

Apprehending arrest following fresh FIRs against him, a cornered SPS Rathore today moved a sessions court for anticipatory bail but failed to get any immediate relief and the Haryana ex-DGP could soon be slapped with abetment to suicide charge.

Parallely, the Haryana police set up a seven-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by an IGP for the two fresh cases registered on the basis of complaints of father and brother of molestation victim Ruchika Girhotra against Rathore and others for allegedly tampering with the post-mortem report and on abetment of suicide charge.

The Centre stepped in with Home Minister P Chidambaram discussing with Ruchika’s family and lawyers in New Delhi the possibility of re-opening the 19-year-old case by adding abetment to suicide charge on Rathore. The 67-year-old former top cop was convicted for molesting the 14-year-old budding tennis player who committed suicide three years after the incident in 1990.

Ruchika’s family is likely to file another FIR — the third in two days — in Panchkula soon against Rathore for abetment of suicide, Home Ministry sources said after Chidambaram’s hour-long meeting.

With the noose tightening over Rathore, there was a pronounced change in his demeanour in sharp contrast to the broad grin he sported the day he got away with a lighter sentence of six months imprisonment early this month.

A grim-faced Rathore even had a run-in with the media.

He mocked at the media when asked for his comments after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected telling them, “the day you can satisfy me you are a constitutional power on judicial matters, I will speak (to you)”.

Abha, the lawyer-wife of Rathore, submitted before District and Sessions Judge S P Singh which heard his anticipatory bail plea that “fabricated, twisted and forged” facts were being presented by Ruchika’s family.

The judge also issued a notice to the state for a reply to the anticipatory bail plea on January one.

In a 40-page petition, Abha Rathore alleged that her husband was facing a “nothing but a trial by the media” and sought protection of the court.

The judge first adjourned the proceedings, saying he would have to go through the details and later issued notice to the state for a reply on January one. The court however did not grant Rathore any immediate relief on his bail plea.

The judge earlier directed Rathore to present all the documents on January 1 so that the issue could be decided after going through the documents.

In the absence of exact nature of FIR it will not be appropriate for the court to pass any order, the court said.

In New Delhi, Chidambaram discussed with family members of Ruchika and their lawyer the possibility to reopen the molestation case by adding abetment to suicide charge and sought more documents relating to the matter.

Advocate Pankaj Bharadwaj accompanied by Ruchika’s father Subhash and her friend Aradhana’s father Anand Prakash met the Minister and apprised him of the case

After the hour-long meeting, Bharadwaj told reporters, “there are so many ways to reopen the matter under section 306 (abetment to suicide). We are still thinking as to which is the best line to reopen the case”.

Bharadwaj said the Home Minister sought more documents which he would be providing to him by tomorrow. He said the ministry has the power to take up any matter to its logical end and can streamline the whole process.

Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said his ministry is contemplating asking the National Commission for Women to move the Supreme Court seeking “intervention” for an enhanced punishment for Rathore.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said he has given orders that everything should be revisited and none of the guilty people be spared.

Pak continues to ignore India on IC-814 hijackers

Kandahar hijack

Pakistan is yet to respond to formal requests made by India for extradition of the five hijackers.
Ten years after the hijacking of Indian Airlines plane, Pakistan is yet to respond to formal requests made by India for extradition of the five hijackers and two of their accomplices.

The Pakistan authorities, with whom formal requests were made in May 2000, has neither confirmed nor denied the presence of five hijackers — Ibrahim Athar, Sunny Ahmed Qazi, Zahoor Ibrahim, Shahid Akhter Sayed and Shakir– and two accomplices Yusuf Azhar and Abdul Rauf — in their country.

The extradition requests were made under the SAARC and the Hague conventions under which Pakistan has the obligation to honour them, CBI sources said on Wednesday.

The sources said reminders were even being constantly sent to Islamabad besides getting the Interpol involved to ensure the execution of the Red Corner notice. But there seems to be no progress on this front in that country.
While Athar is a resident of Bhawalpur, other four hijackers and two accomplices are residents of the port city of Karachi.

The two accomplices–Abdul Rauf and Yusuf Azhar—are brother and brother-in-law respectively of Maulana Masood Azhar, one of the three militants released in exchange for the hostages on December 31, 1999, a week after the crisis began on Christmas eve on December 24.

Telangana: Centre calls all-party meet, all agree

To break the impasse over Telangana, the Centre has convened a meeting of “recognized” political parties in Andhra Pradesh on January 5. Home Minister P Chidambaram today sent the letter of invitation to eight parties: Congress, TDP, TRS, BJP, CPI, CPI(M), PRP and the MIM.

The meeting is scheduled to be held at New Delhi on Tuesday, January 5, 2010, the Home Ministry said.

The Centre’s decision came after detailed deliberations in the government and at the highest level in the Congress in the last few days on the political crisis.

All parties were divided and even public representatives belonging to these parties were split on regional lines.

The all-party Joint Action Committee, formed to spearhead the separate Telangana agitation, and the TRS tonight welcomed the announcement and decided to attend the meeting convened by the Centre.

Congress MPs, MLAs and ministers from Telangana had earlier resigned demanding a clarification from the Centre on December 23 statement by the Home Minister.

Chidambaram had said that the situation in Andhra Pradesh had altered since December 9 when the Centre announced the initiation of the process of formation of a separate state of Telangana.

Krishna tells Tharoor who is the boss – Tweet triangle


Krishna was firm and direct with Tharoor during the 30-minute meeting on Wednesday.
After telling his deputy Shashi Tharoor to keep his perceptions over the tightening of visa norms “within the four walls of the ministry”, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna asserted on Wednesday that “everyone has to fall on the same page” once the policy is formulated.

His statement came after Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, who is said to be upset with Tharoor’s remarks, reportedly raised the issue with senior Cabinet colleagues over the past two days. Sources told The Indian Express that Chidambaram referred to the same at the Cabinet Committee on Security on Tuesday as well.

The tweets didn’t go down too well with Cabinet ministers since the government has already shown flexibility by saying that it will “review” the new rules after six months.

“The broad policy parameters are dictated, decided by the Minister in-charge of External Affairs of this country and everyone will have to fall on the same page,” Krishna told reporters on Wednesday when asked if Tharoor and the
External Affairs Ministry were on the same page

over the visa issue. Sources said Krishna was firm

and direct with Tharoor during the 30-minute meeting on Wednesday.

Krishna added that though there could be different perceptions, there is a method and procedure to “sort out” the issues and stressed that he was sure his deputy minister “understands” that. “Whenever new policy comes in effect, there are bound to be repercussions. Broad policy has been decided and we will do what needs to be done in this regard,” Krishna added.

Tollywood bigwigs to meet TRS chief KCR

Abadly bruised and battered Tollywood is mustering courage to pick up the threads in the New Year though conditions are as adverse as they have been in the last one month.

Ironically, a fresh beginning is sought to be made in the Telangana region by releasing a film the title of which carries the name of United Andhra protagonist Chiranjeevi. On January 1, the film ‘Maa Naana Chiranjeevi’ is all set to be released in at least 22 theatres in Hyderabad. The film is directed by P A Arun Prasad, who had directed Chiranjeevi’s brother Pawan Kalyan in ‘Thammudu’. “It is indeed risky in the given circumstances but we have to face the situation,” said Natti Kumar who has bought the distribution rights of the film starring Jagapathi Babu.

Trying to leave behind the traumatic times of the last few weeks, another movie titled ‘Yugalageetham’ is also sought to be released on January 1. With Tollywood’s big heroes out of action not having any releases so far this year, Hollywood films have become runway hits. Interestingly, all this comes in the midst of the Maoists’ call for bandh on Jan 2 and Telangana protagonists’ plan to hold a massive youth demonstration on Jan 3.

Bigwigs of Toolywood are trying to meet TRS leader K Chandrasekhar Rao to explain how the industry as a whole was getting hit. “The issue is not about films of some people being disrupted. The larger issue is that thousands of people involved in the industry, including those in the Telangana region, are suffering,” said V V Balakrishna Rao, president, A P Film Chamber of Commerce.

Bangalore Happy For Telangana Battle

While the Telangana issue has been causing a lot of pain to the people in Andhra Pradesh and also the many Telugus in different parts of the world, one section of people are said to be quite happy. They are the folks of Karnataka and especially the corporates and the political guys.

Well, the reason for the happiness is IT companies are shifting from Hyderabad to other places and especially towards Bangalore. This would mean that Hyderabad will no more be its competitor and that will give Bangalore the edge to vie for the metro status.

The experts say that as long as the political instability continues, good times will continue for Bangalore and places like Chennai, Pune as well. This has been causing quite a concern to the IT sector here in Hyderabad and they are hoping for a quick resolution and that too a sensible one.

Chidambaram calls for all party meet on ‘T’

The union home ministry has called for an all party meeting on the contentious separate Telangana issue. The leaders of 8 major political parties in the state have been invited to attend the meeting in Delhi.

The meeting will take place on January 5. The meeting will be chaired by home minister Chidambaram. The meeting is being held to elicit the views of the political parties on how to proceed on the T issue.

IT employees chant T slogan

The separate Telangana issue is now slowly catching up everywhere. The IT employees union has started a protest at the Hitech City today. The employees staged a sit in protest on the road and demanded the formation of a separate Telangana.

The IT employees said that the IT industry will not be affected in any way if a separate Telangana is formed. The police asked the employees to leave as 144 section was in force.

Rosaiah’s fears on Film industry

Chief Minister K Rosaiah expressed fears over the continued attack on film industry. Rosaiah said that the attack on film units and the ban of the exhibition of films featuring Allu Arjun ,  Ram Charan etc. was not correct.

Rosaiah said that there is a clear indication that some section of the film industry was not making a move to shift the shooting work to Chennai.

Rosaiah said that it took several decades to get the film industry to move from Chennai to Hyderabad. The T agitation is now threatening the very existence of the industry in Hyderabad.

T effect – Chiru invites Mohan Babu home

The two top actors in Tollywood Chiranjeevi and Mohan Babu have been at loggerheads for a long time now. Mohan Babu never leaves an opportunity to blast Chiranjeevi

To the surprise and joy of many, the two seemed to have buried the hatchet – at least temporarily. The credit for this goes to the Telangana issue. Chiranjeevi and Mohan Babu are now chanting the Samaikhya Andhra slogan.

The attack on film units of Manoj and Allu Arjun by some TRS activists have brought the two actors together. Chiranjeevi has now invited Mohan Babu to his home to discuss the future course of action.

Mohan Babu too responded positively to the invitation and had agreed to go to Chiru’s house.

Is Andhra Pradesh under undeclared president’s rule?

Hyderabad, Dec 30 (IANS) Is there an undeclared resident’s rule in Andhra Pradesh? The opposition thinks so, but the chief minister disagrees.

The speculation followed new Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan’s decision to summon Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and officials to review the law and order situation in the state.

Rosaiah denied this meant that the state was under president’s rule.

His clarification at a news conference came amid criticism of the governor by the opposition for summoning the chief minister and officials to review the law and order situation.

“It is not correct to say that the governor is holding review meetings. I sought an appointment with the new governor after he took over on Monday. I wanted to know if he would like me to be accompanied by officers,” said Rosaiah, whose authority as the chief minister is facing a serious challenge due to the ongoing agitation over separate statehood for Telangana.

“Mr. Narasimhan is from the Andhra Pradesh cadre. He started as an officer here and occupied several high positions. He has the right to know what is happening in the state. Beyond that we need not read anything in the meeting,” the chief minister said.

Chhattisgarh Governor Narasimhan Monday took additional charge of Andhra Pradesh.

All 13 ministers from Telangana last week sent their resignations to Congress president Sonia Gandhi demanding statehood for the region. They have also decided to stay away from cabinet meetings, forcing the chief minister to postpone the meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

The chief minister, however, said the cabinet meeting was postponed due to a shutdown in Telangana.

Telangana students for ‘Chalo Hyderabad’ march Jan 3

Protests continued in Andhra Pradesh’s Telangana region for the fifth day Sunday demanding that the central government immediately initiate the process for separate statehood to Telangana while students of Osmania University here called for a ‘Chalo Hyderabad’ march Jan 3.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Osmania University students Sunday set an ultimatum for the government to make an announcement on initiating the process by Jan 2. It called for ‘Chalo Hyderabad’ where students from other parts of the region will march to Hyderabad.

The JAC leaders told reporters that a massive meeting titled ‘vidyarthi grajna’ or ‘students roar’ would be held Jan 3 at Osmania University, the nerve centre of the Telangana agitation. They said a rally would also be taken out after the meeting.

The meeting and rally could be crucial as a similar call for a march to the assembly Dec 10 coupled with a ‘fast unto death’ by Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao forced the central government to announce that the process for formation of Telangana state would be initiated.

After the protests and mass resignations of legislators from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, the government made a second statement Dec 23 underlining the need for consultations on the issue.

As the latest statement is seen as u-turn by the central government, the agitation resumed in Telangana, which comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, Congress leader and former union minister G. Venkatswamy visited the Osmania University campus to express solidarity with students who are on an indefinite hunger strike.

He said the Congress alone was capable of delivering a Telangana state.

The hunger strike by the university students entered the fourth day Sunday. Tension prevailed at the campus late Saturday as police shifted a student to hospital after his condition deteriorated.

Some students tried to resist the police.

Rallies, demonstrations and road blockades with sporadic incidents of violence continued in the region as the all-party Joint Action Committee (JAC) held a key meeting here to decide the future course of action.

The JAC will consider a proposal by TRS to call an indefinite shutdown from Tuesday if the government failed to announce that it was initiating the process for formation of Telangana by Monday.

Hyderabad IT industry shaken by Telangana stir

The ongoing Telangana agitation may slow business growth in Hyderabad and lead to loss of some jobs in the IT and ITeS industry, according to industry experts.

The 25-day-old trouble may also turn into an advantage for competing destinations such as Bangalore with regard to new contracts and investment and the sentiment of the clients about Hyderabad has already been impacted.

“The brand of Hyderabad/Andhra Pradesh has taken a beating due to events in the last one month. Any investor/client will look for Hyderabad only if there is a possibility of workflow round the clock (24/7). We can’t lose any more working hours as some may look to competing centres for businesses,” Mr M Narasimha Rao, Centre Head, Infosys Hyderabad and President of Hyderabad Software Exporters Association , told Business Line. Many companies were witnessing thin attendance due to safety concerns in travel to office.

“So far, we have been able to manage the losses but if this continues, all sort of problems such as non-renewal of contracts will follow,” Mr Rao said.

Flight of talent

Apart from business, there are also many manpower-related concerns. Many people who came from other States are now planning to move out of Hyderabad, especially to their home States, if the company has facilities.

“If those who come from the Andhra region are being targeted now, it could be the turn of people from other States later,” Rakesh who works for Microsoft said.

Rakesh, who hails from Noida, had sought a transfer to Bangalore.

As most of the geeks are working couples, simple issues such as dropping/picking up kids from schools and going to workplace had become serious concerns of late. “I had no fuel this morning to go to office as petrol stations are closed since Wednesday evening due to a bandh call,” he added.

A senior official in IT Department of the Andhra Pradesh Government, admitted that all the development achieved in the IT sector in the last one decade was being “undone”.

“We are aware that political setbacks can do lot of damage. But there is little in our hands now except to hope for return of normalcy. Our problem now may become a gain to neighbouring IT destinations such as Bangalore,” he added.

Frequent bandhs leave a dent on brand Hyderabad

Hyderabad: Hunger strikes, dharnas, damaged public property, shops vandalised – one month of tension has cost Hyderabad Rs 15 crore. Andhra tourism has reportedly suffered Rs 1 crore loss in the festive season. With things refusing to look up, industrialists in the tech city are a worried lot.

“Brand Hyderabad has been built very assiduously over the last so many years. And if it is damaged now with this political uncertainty then it will be very difficult for us to start all over again,” General Secretary of Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry Rajeshwar Rao said.

“IT sector, tourism and export and import have been hit by the agitations. After holding talks with representatives of CII, FAPCCI, the state government has decided that special forces will be created for the protection of industries,” Chief Minister K Rosaiah said.

“We all collectively need to see to it that the state’s progress is not hampered,” Rosaiah added.

Residents of Hyderabad are also weary of politicians holding public life to ransom.

“We all are suffering because of so many bandhs. If they want to protest they can do so peacefully,” a resident said.

While another resident who runs a business said, “I have already suffered a loss of Rs 15,000 in my business. How long will this continue? It’s New Year time. All party plans have gone for a toss.”

Meanwhile, politicians seem to be turning a deaf ear to the common man’s plight. Every party is quick to call a bandh every time it wants to be heard in Delhi.

Student and employee joint action committees have asked supporters to boycott New Year celebrations. The police though warn them from marring the revelry. In all, it seems like Andhra Pradesh will be ringing in the New Year amidst the din of political uncertainty.