Will Naidu, KCR come face to face? Focus of attention on Governor’s at home in Raj Bhavan on Aug. 15

Governor ESL Narasimhan’s  customary “At Home” in Raj Bhavan on the occasion of Independence Day celebrations this year would be the focus of attention of the people of both the Telugu States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Being the Governor of both the Telugu States this will be  the second “ At Home” to be hosted by Narasimhan to the Chief Ministers and other dignitaries of both  AP and Telangana together at Raj Bhavan in the joint capital of Hyderabad.

Both the Chief Ministers N. Chandrababu Naidu and K. Chandrasekhar Rao came face to face on the occasion and tried to put on a façade of bon home by shaking hands briefly at the At Home last year. However, this year’s ensuing At Home would be the focus of attention of all in the wake of the bitter political atmosphere surrounding the cash-for-vote and phone tapping allegations.

Though the two Chief Ministers were at loggerheads on  various administrative issues like sharing of power and water resources etc, the animosity between the two had reached a bitter level on the eve of the MLC elections when TDP MLA Revanth Reddy along with others allegedly tried to woo the nominated Anglo-Indian MLA Elvis Stephenson with money to elicit his support for the party’s nominee.

In a sensational sting operation purported to have been master-minded by the TRS, the TDP MLA and others were caught red-handed by the ACB officials while allegedly offering huge cash to Stephenson. This triggered off another controversy with the TDP leveling charges against TRS leadership of phone tapping.

Since the last two months the political atmosphere in two States was vitiated by allegations and counter allegations as both TDP and TRS leaders, including ministers and other elected representatives indulged in washing dirty linen day in and day out. The situation became so serious that the issue reached the doorsteps of Raj Bhavan as well as the Rashtrapathi level as the TDP demanded invocation of Section 8 of the AP Reorganization Act alleging threat to the life and property of settlers in Hyderabad.

However, the 12-day Godavari pushkaralu has pushed to the background, though temporarily, the raging controversies of the two States which are sitting pretty like a simmering volcano. Thus against this unsavory backdrop, the ensuing At Home by the Governor for the political dignitaries has drawn much interest and attention of all. Will both the CMs come to face to face or will one of them likely to skip on some pretext or the other. It is pertinent to recall here that the At Home hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapathi Nilayam here in Bolarum during his southern sojourn recently, Chandrasekhar Rao skipped on the plea of ill-health.

Will Governor take the opportunity of the presence of Chandrababu Naidu and Chandrasekhar Rao, if none of them avoids on some plea or other, tried to make them sit across the table to resolve various issues, not political but concerning administrative aspects.

Thus Raj Bhavan would become the cynosure of all eyes on the occasion of the Independence Day “At Home” on Saturday. (NSS)