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Rajinikanth sets assembly election goal for political debut, but first a 45-day movie shoot

Pre-Truth — snappy, witty and significant snippets from the world of politics and government.

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Superstar announces entry into politics, then goes back to what he does best — movies

Soon after actor Rajinikanth announced the launch of his political party, one would think he would have gone into election mode, given that assembly elections in Tamil Nadu are slated for 2021.

Well! It is Rajinikanth that we are talking about, and he can do anything — like work on-screen while making plans for his political debut offscreen.

After his big announcement on 3 December, the ‘superstar’ chose to fly to Hyderabad to shoot his 168th film — Annaatthe — produced by Sun Pictures and being shot at the Ramoji Film City. The shooting for the film begins on 14 December.

Annaatthe’s filming schedule is about 45 days but it will be released after the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu as post-production work will take time. Rajinikanth is to launch his new political party in January and a formal announcement will be made on 31 December.

Before taking the political plunge, the ‘Thalaivaa‘ (as Rajini is famously called by his fans) reached the residence of his elder brother Sathyanarayana Rao in Bengaluru on 6 November to seek his blessings.

When he was asked how he would manage both politics and films, a question most Rajini fans would frown upon, the actor replied: “40 per cent of work on the film is pending. I will complete it and then turn my full attention to politics. Please bless me.”

Also read: Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Bhagel’s father state guest in Yogi Adityanath’s Uttar Pradesh

A court appointment in Andhra raises eyebrows

The Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy government of Andhra Pradesh had on 9 December appointed former Supreme Court judge Justice J. Chelameswar’s son, Jasti Naga Bhushan, as the state’s Additional Advocate General (AAG).

Bhushan will represent the state in the Andhra Pradesh High Court but his appointment has raised eyebrows in the legal fraternity.

Just two months ago in October, Jagan had quoted from a letter by Justice Chelameswar (retd) to allege proximity between sitting Supreme Court judge Justice N.V. Ramana and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Chandrababu Naidu.

Justice Ramana is next in line to become the chief justice.

Jagan wrote to the Chief Justice of India, S.A. Bobde, accusing Justice Ramana of influencing “sitting high court judges” to help Naidu.

The letter claimed Justice Ramana was close to the former CM and played a crucial role in swaying judicial appointments in the state courts.

The evidence Jagan referred to was a 2017 letter that Justice Chelameswar had written to then CJI J.S. Khehar over Justice Ramana’s objection to the appointment of six advocates as high court judges.

Justice Chelameswar had in his note highlighted that Justice Ramana’s opinion was identical to that of Naidu, who gave his comments as the chief minister of the state.

“The proximity of the Hon’ble judge and the present chief minister of Andhra Pradesh is too well known,” Justice Chelameswar’s letter read.

Also read: A house, or two, for Priyanka Gandhi to help lift UP Congress’ flagging fortunes

In rail civil service, a burning question — will chief get extension?

The rail civil service is keenly waiting to know whether the chairman and CEO of the Railway Board will get yet another extension. V.K. Yadav, a 1980-batch officer of the Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE), was first appointed to the top railway position in 2018.

He got a one-year extension in January to last until December 2020. Yadav, who has presided over key rail reforms like the restructuring of the railway board, merger of the cadres and the privatisation of railways, is known to enjoy the confidence of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.

Yadav, though, is not without detractors in the rail services, who are resentful of his ‘yes, boss’ attitude towards the political leadership, unmindful of what his fellow railway officers think about the reforms pushed by the government. Grapevine has it that the political bosses aren’t inclined to let him hang up his boots.

Also read: Soldiers still in stand-off in Ladakh, CDS Rawat & BJP MP Lekhi flag off Chinese car in Delhi


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