Kesineni Closes His Travel Agency, Set To Continue Cargo

It is said that he had initially wanted to take up the issue to the notice of the Lok Sabha Speaker and the privileges committee of the Parliament.

Amaravati: Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas had closed his popular travel agency, Kesineni Travels, from the midnight of Friday. He had shut his three decade old travel agency and is said to be planning to continue his cargo services. All 170 buses owned by the Kesineni Travels and operating in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and other States are closed. The travel agency had also reportedly stopped advance bookings for the past one week. All the offices of the travel agency across the southern States were also closed from the midnight.

Kesineni had initially planned to close his travel agency last week following a dispute with Transport Commissioner N Balasubrahmanyam. His office had called for a press conference where he was scheduled to make an announcement. However, he differed the announcement following a telephone call from Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. It is said that Chandrababu Naidu had advised him against closing the travels and assured him of all the support that is required. However, it is said that the MP was not happy with the assurance given by the Chief Minister himself.

The MP had come to the decision to close his travel agency after he was forced by the Chief Minister to apologise to the transport commissioner. The MP held a protest at the transport commissioner’s office when local MLA Bonda Umamaheswara Rao and MLC Buddha Venkanna attacked the transport commissioner’s gunman. The media had highlighted the assault which had put the government in an embarrassing situation. Following this the Chief Minister had held a meeting with Kesineni, Bonda Uma and Buddha Venkanna and directed them to tender apology to the transport commissioner.

Though the MP had apologized, he felt humiliated and took objections to the way an MP was made to apologise to an officer. It is said that he had initially wanted to take up the issue to the notice of the Lok Sabha Speaker and the privileges committee of the Parliament. However, he restrained from the move and finally closed his travel agency.

Meanwhile, the decision of the MP is all set to cast shadow on the ruling Telugu Desam Party in which he is an MP. As an MLA and MLC are also involved in the issue of assault on the transport commissioner and MLA Bonda Uma too is unhappy with the TDP after expansion, the closure of Kesineni Travels has all the potential to put the government in a major trouble. It is to be seen how the government would react to the MP’s decision.

 

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Kesineni Vows Not To Ply Buses In Two Telugu States

As the opposition parties like YSRCP alleged that he had closed down the travels due to the huge losses he was incurring and also was running the bus service illegally, Kesineni decided to clear the air.

Vijayawada: As rumours were rife over the closure of Kesineni Travels offices, the businessman turned MP Kesineni Srinivas decided to dispel them days after his decision.  One of the biggest private travel agencies in South India Kesineni Travels shut down its operations recently.

As the opposition parties like YSRCP alleged that he had closed down the travels due to the huge losses he was incurring and also was running the bus service illegally, Kesineni decided to clear the air.

Addressing the media, he clarified that he decided to stop the operations due to personal reasons and did it. Claiming that he didn’t do anything wrong, he vowed not to operate his buses in two Telugu States (Telangana and Andhra Pradesh) again. He also asserted that he provides the safest bus travel in the country and not just in the two States. “ If you compare my travel’s accident rate to the entire country, it’s almost negligible,” he added.

Saying that he worked with conviction and is only answerable to his own conscience, he maintained that he never made any mistakes in business. He also hit out at some media houses for spreading rumours. “If they were true, I would have been the richest man,” he said.

The entire episode began in the last week of March when Kesineni had heated arguments with Transport commissioner over illegal operations of travel operators that registered in other States. He was accompanied by Vijayawada Central MLA, Bonda Umamaheswara Rao.   He criticised transport officials for their corrupt practices and alleged that around 400 private buses were operating across the State without valid permits. He demanded immediate seizure of such buses.

Alleging that the owner of Orange Travels, Sunil Reddy was a proxy of Opposition Leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, he claimed that 150 buses belonging to Orange Travels are operating in the State without permits. He also maintained that Sunil Reddy by offering bribes is influencing transport officials to run the buses.

However,  Transport Commissioner Subramanyam rejected the allegations and asserted that every bus was paying taxes to the Transport Department and operating with a permit.

In this context, a video surfaced showing TDP MLA Umamaheshwara Rao manhandling one of the security personnel fo the Commissioner.

Following the incident, a major controversy erupted. The transport employees threatened to go on strike if the MP and MLA did not apologise.

Protesting against this, the MP has shut down his company.  Though the MP wanted to announce this at a press meet on March 31, the TDP chief did not allow him to do so and called him for talks.

As he was made to apologise to Transport Commissioner, Kesineni felt humiliated. A leading English daily reported that he refused to hand over his fleet of buses to the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) as demanded by the opposition and RTC employees union.

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Brahmani To Replace Kesineni In 2019..?

Rumours are doing rounds that Chief Minister Naidu wants his daughter in law to contest from Vijayawada as an MP.

Hyderabad: Telugu Desam Party MP Kesineni Srinivas has announced the shutting of Kesineni Travels recently.  A tiff with  Transport Commissioner N. Balasubramaniam and consequently Chief Minister Naidu forcing him to apologise to the bureaucrat allegedly hurt Srinivas. He had taken this extreme step as he got hurt said his close aides.

However, a bigger strategy seems to be behind this episode. Rumours are doing rounds in Andhra Pradesh that Chief Minister Naidu, who is keen to bring his daughter in law into politics, strategically fixed Srinivas. Rumours say that Naidu wants Brahmani to contest from Vijayawada as an MP and Srinivas is considered a hurdle.

By supporting the bureaucrat and making the MP apologise, the CM hit two targets with a single arrow.  In the eyes of the public, Naidu is projected as an unbiased person and at the same time, he was controlling Kesineni, attacked by the opposition as another Vijay Mallya. Chandrababu wants the seat without any controversy by 2019 general elections.

It appears that Naidu is emulating Telangana Chief Minister KCR, who gave his son KTR a crucial portfolio and projecting him as the future CM. Following his former colleague’s footsteps, Naidu assigned almost the same portfolios that KTR is holding to his son Nara Lokesh in Andhra Pradesh. Though KCR did not think of making his daughter in law an MP for reasons not known, he surely made his daughter Kavita an MP. Even his nephew Harish Rao is a minister.

There are also rumours that it was Brahmani who forced Babu to allocate an important portfolio to her husband Lokesh. She is appearing in the public on and off and even addressing media. Her attractive personality and ability to convey her point clearly got marks from public and media too.

Many inside the party and outside feel that Brahmani appears more matured than Lokesh. An impression that Brahmani is more dynamic than Lokesh is slowly increasing. Probably, to avoid any competition and stop the party from demanding her to be at the helm of affairs, Naidu wants to send her to the Parliament as an MP.

 

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Interstate tax by Telangana State creates crisis

HYDERABAD: The TRS Government seemed to have stirred the hornets nest by its decision to levy Motor Vehicles Tax from midnight today (April 1) on commercial vehicles entering Telangana State from the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh.

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  • AP buses to stop plying
  • MP Kesineni Nani files petition in HC

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The inter-state vehicle tax is bound to trigger off yet another row between the two Telugu States which are already at loggerheads on various issues like sharing of Krishna river waters, power etc. The AP Transport Minister Sidda Raghava Rao has already appealed to his Telangana counterpart to reconsider the decision as it is bound to escalate prices of essential commodities besides forcing a hike in passenger fares.

According to rough estimates nearly 80 percent of the transport vehicles, both passenger as well as goods carriers, are likely to be adversely affected by the levy of the inter-state vehicle tax and force these services to withdraw which in turn would derail the transport services  coming from the AP State.

Already private transport operators have announced withdrawal of 800 passenger buses and travel reservations have also come to a standstill. The private transport operators are also planning to move the High Court tomorrow on the plea that the decision of the Telangana Government was unconstitutional as Hyderabad is the joint capital of the two states for ten years and hence forcing to pay motor vehicle tax for coming from AP State is illegal and it is in violation of the State Reorganization Act.

During summer season citizens crave for the soothing coconut water to beat the heat.  As a matter of fact hundreds of truckloads of coconuts are brought to the city as well as many towns and villages in Telangana State. With the new policy of the TS Government to impose the motor vehicle tax on these trucks, the prices of coconuts as well as coconut water are bound to shoot up. Prices of fruits like mangoes, bananas etc besides prices of other essential commodities for day to day use like onions, pulses besides that of certain vegetables are also expected to skyrocket shortly.

The holiday season for the children and students are not likely to be pleasant and cheerful this time what with the transport fares likely to shoot up. Though the AP Government is not planning to introduce the inter-state motor vehicle tax, the state would be forced to follow suit one day or other. The people in both the states are already seething with rage over their respective government’s moves which would make cost of living unbearable.

Over 80 percent of Andhra Pradesh Private Travels Association members on Tuesday took a decision to stop running buses from various parts of Andhra Pradesh State to Hyderabad, the common capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh States.

Keeping the Telangana State Government’s decision in view, Andhra Pradesh Private Travels’ managements have convened a meeting and decided to stop their vehicles from mid-night of Tuesday-Wednesday. The managements have also stopped reservations in the buses and expressed their protest against Telangana State Government’s decision.

On the other hand, Kesineni Travels owner and Vijayawada MP Kesineni Nani filed a petition in the High Court on Tuesday challenging the Telangana State Government’s decision that the latter will collect travel tax from the vehicles from Andhra Pradesh State, on the ground that Hyderabad is common Capital for 10 years. He also made it clear that the Kesineni Travels buses will run as usual even after the Telangana State G.O. comes into effect from Tuesday midnight and the reservation facility also available for the commuters. (NSS)

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