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Telangana cash-for-vote case: Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu in alleged call controversy

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Hyderabad: The cash-for-vote scam in Telangana took a dramatic turn on Sunday with the release of an audio tape of a purported telephonic conversation between Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and nominated Telangana legislator Elvis Stephenson.

The Andhra government denied that it’s Naidu’s voice.

This is perhaps for the first time in India that a Chief Minister of a state has been tapped while allegedly trying to lure a legislator. Denying that it is Naidu’s voice, the Andhra Pradesh government has taken the release of audio tape seriously and vowed to fight it legally, constitutionally and politically.

The new twist may create a constitutional crisis as Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Telangana is planning to summon Naidu for questioning in the case.

Hyderabad is the common capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Both Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) governments have taken up the issue with E.S.L. Narasimhan, who is the governor for both the Telugu states.

The audio tape was released three days after Telangana Home Minister N. Narasimha Reddy said that the government has proof that Naidu spoke to Stephenson and some other MLAs of TRS, to lure them to vote for TDP-BJP candidate in Telangana legislative council elections.

The audio tape was first played at T News, a Telugu news channel owned by ruling TRS and was later picked up by others.

During the conversation, Naidu purportedly assured the nominated member that he is with him.

“Our people briefed me. I am with you, don’t bother. For everything I am with you. What all they spoke we will honour,” Naidu was heard as telling the legislator.

In swift developments on Sunday night, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao met Governor Narasimhan at Raj Bhavan while Naidu called a meeting with Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police J.V. Ramudu and other officials to take stock of the latest situation.

Rao’s meeting with the governor, the second in three days, came minutes after the release of the audio tape.

Telangana TDP legislator A. Revanth Reddy was arrested by the ACB on May 31 when he was offering Rs.50 lakh to Stephenson to make him vote for TDP-BJP candidate in the elections to Telangana legislative council.

ACB, which had laid a trap on a complaint by Stephenson, also arrested Revanth Reddy’s aides Sebastian Harry and Uday Simha.

TRS leaders have been alleging that Naidu is the mastermind in the scam and he should be booked.

The audio tape came to light a few hours after ACB questioned Revanth Reddy and two others for a second day. A city court had sent them to four-day custody of ACB.

Earlier in the day, Naidu met Narasimhan, who is governor for both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The TDP chief reportedly complained to the governor about TRS government tapping his phone.

Meanwhile, Naidu’s media advisor Prakala Prabhakar told reporters on Sunday night that the voice in the audio tape is not the voice of Naidu.

He said the government was taking the release of the audio tape seriously and will not keep quiet.

“We will fight it legally, constitutionally and politically,” he said.

He wanted to know from the TRS government as to how it got the audio tape.

“If you have done telephone tapping, it is a crime and if you have recorded Mr. Chandrababu Naidu’s voice on different occasions, tampered it and presented to mislead people that it is his conversation, it is also a crime,” he said.

Naidu’s aide wondered how the audio tape could be released as evidence when the same should be produced in the court, where the case is being heard. Prakala condemned the attitude of Telangana government towards Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister in the common capital. He said both the governments and both the Chief Ministers had equal rights in the common capital.

He pointed out that under section 8 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, the governor is responsible for law and order, protection of lives and property of people and vital installations in Hyderabad.

He alleged that the release of audio tape was a conspiracy to tarnish Naidu’s image and disrupt the public meeting scheduled to be held in Guntur on Monday to mark TDP government’s first year.

The media advisor said that the government would go ahead with the meeting and fight the conspiracy.

Andhra Pradesh’s Finance Minister and senior TDP leader Y. Ramakrishnudu said that the audio tape was a proof that the TRS government was violating law by tapping phones. (IANS)

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The major Challenge is to make the Youth of the Country Entrepreneurial and not Job Seekers : Venkaiah Naidu

"The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers," Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government's various initiatives.

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Venkaiah Naidu
Venkaiah Naidu. Wikimedia Commons
  • At a time of tepid job growth and continuing income disparities, the major challenge is to make the youth of the country entrepreneurial and not job seekers, Vice President  Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

“Disparities continue to remain in India and so there is a need for inclusive growth… there is the need to take care of the suppressed, oppressed and depressed,” Venkaiah Naidu said at the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust’s (BYST) silver jubilee celebrations here with Britain’s Prince Charles as the chief guest.

“The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers,” Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government’s various initiatives to encourage youth enterprises like Startup India, Standup India and the Mudra financing scheme for underprivileged sections.

Modelled on Prince Charles’ Trust for business startups, BYST, founded by Lakshmi Venkatesan, daughter of former President R. Venkatraman, is engaged in building rural entrepreneurship — “grampreneurs” — as also enterprise among under-privileged sections, which includes business mentoring. The current BYST chairman is Bajaj Group chief, Rahul Bajaj.

“Without mentoring, it would be very difficult to set up startups, with all the business, marketing and other vital issues involved in the first two-three years,” Prince Charles said in his address at the International Mentoring Summit organized by BYST to mark its 25 years.

“What amazes me are the sheer number of jobs these young entrepreneurs had created. The aim of such a project should be to create a virtual cycle of creating entrepreneurs who can then invest in the future of business,” Charles said referring to his trust.

BYST was officially launched in 1992 by Prince Charles and expanded its operations to six major regions of India.

Out of these six regions, four — Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad — run the urban programme while two regions — Haryana and Maharashtra — run the rural programme.(IANS)

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Five Students from Telangana Selected for the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge

The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge began as the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race and was first held in in 1994

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Hyderabad, October 12, 2017 : A team of five students from an engineering college in Telangana has been selected for the prestigious NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge.

The team from SR Engineering College, Warangal, will participate in the fifth annual challenge to be held on April 12-14, 2018, in Huntsville, Alabama, US.

It is one of the four teams from India short-listed to compete in the challenge. Students from 23 countries are participating in the challenge to create a buggey designed to traverse the simulated surface of moon.

The team, which will prepare a moon buggy design, report and submit their idea, will be led by faculty Manoj Chaudhary. It includes P. Paul Vineeth, Prakash Raineni, P.Sravan Rao, Rondla Dilipreddy Aand Venishetty Sneha, said a statement.

Congratulating the students, SR Engineering College Secretary A.Madhukar Reddy said it was a great opportunity to design, build, and test technologies that enable rovers to perform in a wide variety of environments.

The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge began as the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race and was first held in in 1994, 25 years after the first manned Apollo landing on the moon.

The challenge now focuses on National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s current plans to explore planets, moons, asteroids and comets.

During its 20-year run, the Great Moonbuggy Race engaged more than 10,000 students and demonstrated that these budding scientists and engineers were capable of complex work. (IANS)

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IAF trainer aircraft crashes in Telangana

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IAF kiran. wikimedia

New Delhi, Sep 28: IAF’s intermediate trainer aircraft- Kiran, crashed in Telangana on Thursday morning, but the pilot and another person on board ejected out safely.

The aircraft got airborne from Hakimpet Air Force base on Thursday morning for a routine training sortie and crashed around 11.45 a.m.

The aircraft was being flown by a trainee pilot.

IAF sources added that a Court of Inquiry has been ordered to look into the cause of the accident.

According to police, the aircraft caught fire and was gutted after the crash near Ankireddypalli village in Keesara ‘mandal’ (block) of Medchal district.

Minutes after taking off from Hakimpet Air Force Station, the aircraft developed some technical snag and crashed in the fields.

Eye-witnesses said they heard a huge thud and soon flames engulfed the aircraft.

The pilot and another person accompanying him ejected out with parachutes before the crash, police said.(IANS)