The Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency has not been able to elect a Union Minister all these years, mainly because it has invariably been electing Opposition candidates as its MPs. Stalwarts like P.V.G. Raju and Tenneti Viswanadham could not find a berth in the Union ministry precisely for this reason.
The Telugu Desam Party's M.V.V.S. Murthi got elected twice in alternate general elections. Everybody thought that he would find a berth in his second innings since the TDP had joined hands with the National Democratic Alliance, but the party supremo preferred to support the NDA Ministry from outside, ruling out the possibility.
On the eve of the latest expansion of the Progressive Democratic Alliance Ministry, there were strong indications that former Chief Minister N. Janardhana Reddy, who was returned from Vizag in the 2004 election, would make the grade, but he lost it by a whisker.
One consolation is the inclusion of Rajya Sabha member T. Subbarami Reddy, who was a Lok Sabha member from Vizag twice earlier and who has made the city his second home.
It's a dream come true for media-friendly Rajya Sabha member T. Subbarami Reddy. His induction in the Union Ministry was possible after he became close to 10 Janpath in his capacity as the member of AICC media committee.
The high-profile cocktail parties hosted regularly by him in Delhi were also partly responsible for his securing a ministerial berth.
The turning point for tilting of scales in favour of Mr. Subbarami Reddy was Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy's dislike for former CM and Vizag MP N. Janardhana Reddy. Anyhow, one Reddy from Nellore has beaten a fellow-Reddy from the same place, for the coveted post.Thanks to the organisers, thousands of music lovers who turned up for the Devi Sri Prasad Nite last week had an `unforgettable experience'.
Crowds started converging at the AU Engineering College grounds well ahead of the schedule at 5 p.m. Youth were getting restive when the programme did not start even after about an hour and started breaking chairs.
The event was delayed by about three hours, and in the meantime, the organisers had to announce repeatedly on the mike appealing to the crowd not to break the chairs.
A number of people started leaving the venue before the start of the programme and some left after it started as there were no chairs to sit.
Soon after the start of the event, the organisers were seen pleading with cameramen and even photographers from the media not to shoot the event as the sponsor was threatening to pull out of the programme as he wanted exclusive rights to shoot the programme. Devi Sri Prasad belted out some good numbers and the songs were interspersed with dance sequences and songs by other singers.
Those who came with their families were embarrassed to see the scantily clad dance troupe members.
Mediapersons cursed the organisers for inviting them and asking them not to click pictures and videograph the event. If that was their intention, they should not have invited the media in the first place.
Traffic in the city is growing by leaps and bounds. But hardly anyone seems to realise the truth behind the saying that `speed thrills but kills'. Not a day passes without accidents taking place claiming lives.
While prevention is always better, the next best thing when an accident takes place is making available timely treatment. With the emergency service available on "108" people are immediately turning to it for help.
On Monday afternoon, there was an accident at Gopalapatnam. A taxi appeared to have gone out of control hitting an auto and a van.
A man was hurled below the auto which was dragged by the car. Another man was injured. Immediately a passer-by called 108 on his cellphone and reported the accident. Within no time, the ambulance reached the spot.
It has been happenning almost everyday and that emergency care is a phone call away appears to be the only comforting thought.
B. Madhu Gopal and
G.V. PRASADA SARMA
By R. Sampath, Santosh Patnaik, B. Madhu Gopal and G.V. PRASADA SARMA