The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Naidu film to spur Desam campaign

Hyderabad: Andhra chief minister Chandrababu Naidu is preparing for next year’s general elections well in advance — Telugu Desam mandarins are already working on a campaign film in Telugu, tentatively titled Ma Babu, reports our special correspondent.

Former information minister N. Shiv Prasad is working on a script in which the protagonist will outdo ADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran and Desam founder N.T. Rama Rao as samaritan and social reformer.

However, Naidu is not expected to act in the film as he is not a stage performer but a visionary and master political strategist, Desam legislator from Chittoor Doraiswamy said.

Raghavendra Rao, the chief minister’s media adviser, and Parchuri Gopalakrishna, the chairman of the official languages commission, have been roped in as talent scouts.

Expected to cost over Rs 5 crore, Ma Babu is based on Naidu’s own story, from his student days to the present tenure as chief minister. It will portray Naidu as the only leader in India comparable to Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohammad and a politician with the vision of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Shiv Prasad said. A production team under Raghavendra Rao is also working on a television serial on Naidu’s development schemes.

The idea of films as campaign vehicles is not a novelty in Andhra Pradesh. N.T. Rama Rao made Brahmarshi Vishawamitra in 1989 and Major Chandrakant in 1994.

TN judiciary in job freeze row

Chennai: A stand-off between the judiciary and the executive, triggered by Madras High Court Chief Justice B. Subashan Reddy’s warning to recommend imposition of “financial emergency” in Tamil Nadu after the government pleaded its inability to allocate funds to appoint staff, entered its second week on Tuesday, reports our special correspondent.

Reddy pointed out in court that as per a Supreme Court directive, the high court was “obliged”, in consultation with the state government, to create the additional posts of subordinate judicial officers and the necessary infrastructure.

The chief justice said the apex court had set a deadline of March 31, 2003, and had specified that for a population of one lakh, there should be five judges. Given Tamil Nadu’s population of about 6.5 crore, “we need 3,200 judges” at various levels of the judiciary, Reddy said.

Even if this expansion was to be undertaken in five stages, “we should now have 1,400 judges in Tamil Nadu, but we do not even have half that number,” he added.

“It is our first duty to implement the order of the Supreme Court,” the judge stressed, when the matter of unfilled vacancies came up before the first bench of the high court.

Power cuts spark suicide

Bhopal (PTI): Unable to bear disruptions in his studies caused by frequent power failures, a student of Khandwa district committed suicide on Sunday, police said.

Appearing for the higher secondary examinations, Anil Tiwari, could not adequately prepare for his physics examination due to constant power cuts. His father said Anil was frustrated after his physics paper and feared he may not pass.

Hinduja trial

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court has said a three-judge bench will on April 7 fix a date for hearing a petition by the CBI challenging the Delhi High Court order quashing the chargesheet against the Hinduja brothers in the Bofors case.

Pirated Potter

New Delhi (PTI): Police seized pirated books worth Rs 3 crore in a raid on a godown and arrested three persons. Altogether 70,000 pirated books, including some bestsellers like Harry Potter, were recovered. Gopal Wadhwany, his son Amit and Subhash Gupta, their distributor, were arrested, police said.

FIR against Salman

Gurgaon (PTI): An FIR has been lodged against Salman Khan for allegedly “manhandling” a press photographer during shooting of a film on March 3, police said. Ajay Tomar, the photographer of the Punjab Kesari, said Salman and his security guards misbehaved when they were photographing the actor during the shooting.

Trident mission

DEhra Dun (PTI): The VHP said it would distribute tridents in Uttaranchal on the lines of Rajasthan and other states. “We have already distributed nearly 17,000 trishuls in Rajasthan, despite a ban imposed on it by the government. In Madhya Pradesh also, we gave away trishuls...,” VHP general secretary Praveen Togadia said.

Gangrape charges

New Delhi (PTI): A Delhi court has framed charges against main accused Rahul and three others in the Maulana Azad Medical College gangrape case four months ago. The court fixed March 22 for commencement of trial.

A second ayurvedic university is coming up in Rajasthan at Karwar village near Jodhpur. The university will also have faculties of unani, siddha, yoga and nature cure. Rajasthan is the only state to have an independent department of ayurveda.

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