Naidu Stops Kesineni From Quitting Travel Business In A Huff

Naidu Stops Kesineni From Quitting Travel Business In A Huff

Dara Gopi

Travel businessman-turned-politician, Kesineni Srinivas (Nani), the Vijayawada’s MP, electrified the politics of Andhra Pradesh on Friday as he had decided to quit the transport business. His office had sent invitations to the media to be present at his Kesineni Travels’ private parking lot at Enikepadu in the evening. All through the day his office had also sent leaks about his possible announcement of quitting the business in the light of the controversy that surrounded him following near assault on Transport Commissioner N Balasubrahmaniam and his subsequent apology to the officer after a meeting with Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

Though the MP was not spotted attacking or abusing the Transport Commissioner, he was the center of the incident as the Opposition YSR Congress took up the issue and rocked the Assembly proceedings. It was said that the MP had visited the Transport Commissioner’s office to complain against the department allowing a Telangana-based travel agency, Orange Bus, in Andhra Pradesh routes without proper permits. He also took the officials to task when he had learned about the officials altering the reports on an accident involving the Orange Bus, leading to death of a worker in the State. He demanded that the Transport Department should be tough with the operator and curb illegal operations. However, when he was joined by legislator Bonda Umamaheswara Rao, MLC Buddha Venkanna and AP Police Housing Corporation chairman K Nagul Meera, the situation went out of control and the legislator was spotted pushing the gunman of the Transport Commissioner even as the Commissioner was looking helpless. The Vijayawada police too have failed to react to the incident and rush to the aid of the senior officer.

The whole incident had put the ruling party in tight spot forcing the Chief Minister to hold talks with the MP, MLA and MLC and made them to personally visit the Transport Commissioner and publicly apologise to him. Though Kesineni had apologized to the Commissioner he was feeling uncomfortable since then and had finally decided to quit the transport business closing his Kesineni Travels. According to sources, he had kept the route permits of all his buses in suspended animation and parked them all in his parking lot here. He had told his drivers and other staff to find alternative jobs since he was quitting.

Kesineni had arrived at the venue for the scheduled press conference along with his supporters. It was at that point of time, he had received a phone call from Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu who had asked him to meet him in the camp office and not to talk to the media. Accordingly, Kesineni had left the place without addressing the media further electrifying the politics.

It is now to be seen how Chandrababu Naidu would convince the sensitive MP and set things in order.

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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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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.

[quote align=”right”]

  • 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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