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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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Lambasingi: A Snowfall Experience Like Never Before

Lambasingi temperature can go as low as -2 degrees celsius in the month of December

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Lambasingi is slowly emerging as one of the favourite tourist places in Andhra Pradesh. Wikimedia Commons
Lambasingi is slowly emerging as one of the favourite tourist places in Andhra Pradesh. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma 

  • Lambasingi is a tourist place in Andhra Pradesh
  • The place is famous for experiencing snowfalls
  • It is a beautiful, nature-friendly place and great for a recreational break

When you think of snowfall, you think of Kashmir, Manali, and all other hill places in North India. However, what many don’t know is, that snow falls in South India too. Lambasingi in Andhra Pradesh is a small picturesque village where snowfalls are beautiful.

The previously unknown village is now being promoted by Andhra Pradesh tourism. And it is also slowly becoming one of the favourite tourist places of Andhra Pradesh.

India has some of the most beautiful hill areas in the World. Wikimedia Commons
India has some of the most beautiful hill areas in the World. Wikimedia Commons

Lambasingi is a misty hill station, which at an altitude of 1025 meters above sea level is situated in the Chintapalli region of Arakku Valley. It has experienced snowfalls many times in the past.

Lambasingi temperature can go as low as -2 degrees Celsius in the month of December, and when that happens, the place gets covered in a layer of snow. Lambasingi weather is mostly cool and can get freezing in the months of December and January. It is one place which must be on your travel list.

Lambasingi is also home to many tribes. Wikimedia Commons
Lambasingi is also home to many tribes. Wikimedia Commons

But what do you do in Lambasingi other than wait for the snow? Here are some clues:

Enjoy the Farms and Gardens

Lambasingi is famous for its coffee and pepper farming. In winter, you can take a walk in these farms r the beautiful orchid gardens. It will make you feel like you are strolling through the clouds.

Visit the Waterfall 

27 km away from the beautiful hill station, lies the Kothapally waterfall. In between enchanting forests, the crystal white water of this waterfall will leave you enchanted.

Lambasingi is also famous for its coffee and pepper plantations. Wikimedia Commons
Lambasingi is also famous for its coffee and pepper plantations. Wikimedia Commons
Enjoy the Misty Mornings 

Mornings in the mountains are the best, and in Lambasingi the experience is just as beautiful. The Lambasingi temperature throughout the year stays less than 10 degrees Celcius, so you can expect a beautiful, chilly morning every day during your stay there.

Also Read: Travel and Tourism Fair in Kolkata aims at Exploiting Huge Travel and Tourism Potential in the Country 

Stroll through the Forests 

Lambasingi weather is beautiful, it needs no reiterating. And there are even more beautiful and lush green forests for you to stroll through to make yourself feel at peace. One can also observe various birds, plants and animals, to make for a more thrilling experience.

Forests in Lambasingi are green and lush, perfect for walks. Wikimedia Commons
Forests in Lambasingi are green and lush, perfect for walks. Wikimedia Commons
Try Adventure Sports 

The Lambasingi travel guide also promises adventurous experiences. You can go trekking, rock climbing and rappelling as well.

Also Read: Goa pins ‘bird’ing hopes to attract tourists

Lambasingi is becoming one of the hottest tourist places in Andhra Pradesh really fast, and the people are capitalising on it like anything. Lambasingi has hotels now which promise an amazing experience and comfortable stay. This place is a pocket-friendly trip you can enjoy with your family.