Chatterbox: Dharna in progress

Events are moving at breathless speed in Andhra Pradesh, which hasn’t got a penny or special status in the 2018-19 Budget. Opposition leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s party, the YSR Congress (YSRC) had won eight Lok Sabha seats from Andhra in 2014, but subsequently three MPs joined the Telugu Desam Party. Now, after the Budget, Reddy has announced that the remaining MPs will resign from the Lok Sabha on April 6, the last day of the budget session, if the state does not get special status by then. What the MPs, who will lose their seats, say about this move is not known. YSRC has announced a road-map for the resignations: MLAs and MPs would participate in dharnas in front of district collector offices in AP on March 1 and the MPs would try to stall proceedings in Parliament from March 5. This will eventually lead to the resignation of MLAs and Jagan himself sitting on a fast unto death in AP’s capital Amaravati. 

Locked in battle

The Prasar Bharati (PB) board and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting are locked in a battle. Last week, a stormy meeting resulted in the PB board complaining in writing to the government about the behavior of the I&B bureaucracy. Apparently, the ministry wanted an end to contractual employment , with all the employees being sacked. The board took strong exception to this proposal, especially as it came amid the proposal that two journalists be hired at high salaries to lead Doordarshan. Contractual employees by contrast are paid a pittance. 

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