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TDP MP shuts travel agency following tiff with bureaucrat

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

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.

The company is owned by Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas.

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.

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

The March 25 incident had snowballed into a major controversy with the transport employees threatening to go on strike if the MP and MLA did not apologise.