HYDERABAD: “If the ability to spend money is the sole criterion to contest on the Congress ticket in Munugode, can anyone compete with the TRS and the BJP, however rich he may be,” wondered Palvai Shravanti, a strong contender for the Congress ticket in the upcoming Munugode byelection.
Daughter of Congress veteran Govardhan Reddy who nurtured the constituency ever since it was formed in 1967 and represented it five times, Shravanti, a dual post graduate degree holder in law and management, feels that connecting with people and a proper poll strategy will only help Congress win the bypoll.
“I will be the tulsi leaf in Srikrishna tulabharam,” Shravanti, who is busy overseeing the preparations for the Congress yatra on Saturday in which TPCC president A. Revanth Reddy will take part, told Deccan Chronicle.
Q: Why do you think you should be given party ticket?
A: Our family has a strong connection with people. I grew up interacting with them. Though not pre-planned, it so happened that I started taking care of issues pertaining to the constituency to help my father. I know the cadre by their names and the advantage is that people of my father’s generation treat me like their child and their children as a sibling.
Q: But your detractors say you have not been frequenting the constituency over the last few years.
A: Naturally. Rajgopal Reddy was our party MLA and my individual activity, if any, would have been dubbed as dissidence. Though I pitched for the ticket in 2018, I wholeheartedly supported and worked for Rajgopal Reddy’s victory. My father and I have been sacrificing for the party on earlier occasions when it was decided to allot the seat to allies.
Q: But you contested as an independent in 2014.
A: Yes. The decision was made by the Congress cadre only because we had a bitter experience in 2004 when the CPI MLA got the upper hand in administration and party workers suffered a lot. Would like to remind the party leadership that I was polled 30,000 as independent. We have a strong base unlike newcomers who have to start from scratch. The surveys indicate that the difference between the Congress and the TRS is 5-6 per cent and I have to work to fill that gap.
Q: So the fight, you think, will be between the Congress and the TRS.
A: Definitely. The BJP has no presence at all and people think Rajgopal Reddy’s decision to quit is inappropriate. His claims of K. Chandrashekar Rao announcing new schemes for bypolls have also fallen flat as the latter wanted to downplay the polls and hence no new schemes.
Q: Did you discuss the nomination issue with TPCC chief Revanth Reddy?
A: I met him when reports of Rajgopal Reddy’s resignation started trickling in. He asked me if I was ready to carry the party baton and I expressed my complete preparedness.
Q: But, there is a strong rumour that the TPCC chief is in favour of a rich contractor who he thinks can match the spending power of the rivals.
A: If money is the sole criterion, do you think anyone can match the TRS and the BJP? Considering party ticket on caste lines in Munugode also will be counterproductive because people here are progressive and never elect their leader on caste basis.
Q: Are you confident that you will get party ticket?
A: My confidence doubled with the PCC chief’s announcement that the party ticket would be decided based on a survey being conducted in the party and constituency because I will emerge as the best choice....