Kesineni Travels shut down – clash

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A travel agency owned by a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP Kesineni Srinivas, shut its operations on Saturday, following a tiff with a bureaucrat last month.

All 170 luxury buses of the 88-year-old Kesineni Travels, one of South India’s largest private travel agencies, came to a halt and its offices in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were closed down.

Srinivas is the MP from Vijayawada.

The MP shut the company to protest what he called illegal operations of the travel companies registered in other states.

Kesineni went ahead with his decision, despite Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s efforts to dissuade him.

The MP wanted to announce his decision at a news conference on March 31 but the TDP chief asked him to cancel it and called him for talks.

Kesineni reportedly felt insulted after Naidu made him apologise to Transport Commissioner N. Balasubramanyam for misbehaviour.

In the last week of March, Srinivas, accompanied by TDP MLA from Vijayawada Central, Bonda Umamaheshwara Rao, had heated arguments with the commissioner over the alleged illegal operations of travel operators registered in other states.

The MP alleged that due to the “corrupt” practices of transport officials, around 400 private buses were operating across the state without permits.

He sought immediate seizure of private buses operating without permits.

“Around 150 buses which belong to Orange Travels are operating in Vijayawada and around 400 buses are operating across the state. Owner of Orange travels, Sunil Reddy, is a ‘benami’ (proxy) of YSR Congress chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy. He is influencing transport department officials by offering bribes,” he had alleged.

“Our Chief Minister told me not to close the operations. But, I finally took a call today,” Nani announced.

However, sources claim that Kesineni’s decision is not purely emotional but has been strategically planned. Nani is looking at expanding cargo business, which he feels is more flourishing.

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