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Andhra Pradesh - Visakhapatnam Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Go-betweens left in the lurch

WITH POLLING over and the contesting candidates down to working out their electoral prospects and cooling their heels, the lesser mortals in the parties are given to their own worries.

With their significance in the parties at once pared down, many small-time players are now haggling, wrangling over the tid-bits that were dangled before them, but not delivered. With most leaders out-of-reach now, it's the go-betweens who are facing the music.

A middle-level coordinator in the Congress, who claims to have helped bolster the size of every party election meeting, now complains about being hounded by the members of stopgap 'audience' for the `inducements' promised to them.

"The funds given weren't enough. With the polling over, nothing's coming my way any more for settling the accounts,'' the organiser was heard grumbling.

* * *

WITH THE polling for the second phase over on Monday evening, the leaders of ruling and opposition parties, who had criss-crossed the nook and corner of the State seeking people's mandate, as also the hundreds of contestants, must be heaving a sigh of relief after having spent sleepless nights during the hectic campaign.

As things stand, they would continue spending sleepless nights, unable to bear the suspense of the outcome for another two weeks, since the counting of votes for the Assembly is slated for May 11 and for the Lok Sabha on May 13. Probably this is the widest gap between polling and counting in the electoral annals of Andhra Pradesh.

Opinion polls and exit polls organised by various media agencies are indicating different findings, confounding the already confused people. Some have suggested an opinion poll on this practice of gauging the public mood! Almost every agency claims that its sampling is scientific, with the margin of error restricted to fewer seats this way or that way. The Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, has asserted that the exit poll outcome is not a cause of worry for him, and the Telugu Desam Party's supremo, N. Chandrababu Naidu, has dismissed the methodology of these agencies as unscientific and promised to come up with his own survey shortly.

Whatever be the vox populi, the people are happy that the polling in the State had, by and large, passed off peacefully, barring sporadic cases of violence and snatching of electronic voting machines.

* * *

COMING CLOSE on heels of a successful tour of the Indian cricket team, the visit of a Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI) delegation to Pakistan was a pleasant experience, according to the city Youth Hosteller and a member of the 28-strong YHAI contingent, Ch. Sreenivasa Prasad.

In fact, another city Youth Hosteller, A. Pundarikaksha, was also selected for the first-ever trip by the YHAI to the now- friendly neighbour, along with Mr. Prasad who is the State secretary of YHAI. But then he could not make it as the passport was not ready in time for the tour under the Youth Leaders Exchange Programme facilitated by a memorandum of understanding with UNESCO for promoting `Youth hostelling for peace and international understanding'.

With vast experience in trekking, the delegation crossed the Wagah border on foot from Amritsar, covering a distance of 30 km. From there, it went to Lahore by an air-conditioned bus of the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation. It also visited Islamabad and Rawalpindi, which are like twin cities, Taxila, Murrie and Burban.

"Islamabad was quite cool. The Buddhist Museum at Taxila was similar to our Nalanda museum in Bihar. Apart from meeting several federal Ministers, we also spoke to the Vice-Chancellor of Quaid-e-Azam University at Islamabad, M. Raziuddin Sardari, who is a former Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University,'' Mr. Prasad revealed.

* * *

FOUNDATION DAY of an institution is an occasion to recollect the great services rendered to it by the personalities who shaped its future and their good qualities. In the case of Andhra University it also has a good tradition of honouring its past and famous teachers and administrators and other noted personalities.

It is apt that AU felicitated a legal luminary and its distinguished alumnus, D.V. Subba Rao, at its 78th Foundation Day celebrations.

An orator, Mr. Subba Rao delivered a good speech recollecting the history of the university and his speech also contained some famous quotes of the farmer Vice-Chancellors and interesting incidents in their lives.

The founder Vice-Chancellor, Sir C.R. Reddy, a multi-faceted personality, had a stint in politics too having been a member of the legislature of the composite Madras State.

He moved a no-confidence motion against the then Chief Minister, Rajah of Panagal. A good speaker with a good command over English and wit, Reddy was highly critical of the Chief Minister in his speech. When the Rajah of Panagal in his reply reminded Reddy that ''I have with me reams of letters written by you appreciating my deeds but is now criticising me'', Reddy rose up and said: "In England lovers return their correspondence when they quarrel.''

By Shakeel M Rasheed,
R. Sampath,
B. Prabhakara Sarma and
G. Narasimha Rao

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