KCR lied. Lies won't help him retain power'

When he joined Rashtrapati Bhavan on a commissioned service, Capt. Reddy was still reconciled to serving the government.

Hyderabad: President of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee Nalamada Uttam Kumar Reddy is a self-effacing personality, modest and soft spoken, traits unusual for any Indian politician. A cadet of the 68th batch of the National Defence Academy, who after being commissioned into the Indian Air Force flew different fighter planes including the MiG 21 and 23, never had politics in mind even when he had a near-fatal air accident and injuries ruled him out of active flying service. When he joined Rashtrapati Bhavan on a commissioned service, Capt. Reddy was still reconciled to serving the government.

After a long route marked more by serendipity than ambition, Capt. Reddy and his wife Padmavati choose to remain childless and dedicate their lives to public service and, later, the Congress. Inheriting the mantle of the party after a crushing defeat at the hands of the TRS after the formation of the Telangana state in 2014, he has led the party by consensus and has prepared it for the elections. Can he deliver the crushing blow to his intimidating rival, caretaker Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, in the elections to be held on December 7, will decide his political future.

Strong in his conviction that the sentiment for the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the desire to strengthen the hands of the party president Rahul Gandhi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the hearts of people of Telangana is enough to pushback the juggernaut of Mr Chandrasekhar Rao, Mr Reddy believes that there is an intense and strong undercurrent of resentment and anti-incumbency, but subtle and under the radar because of the “fear of backlash of violence of the dictatorial regimes in power” both in Hyderabad and New Delhi. Excerpts.

Q Why should the people vote for the Congress and against the TRS?
The people of Telangana must, and will, vote for the Congress because of the same reason why we fought for a separate state in the first place — to take the power over our destiny, control of our resources and establish rule of our own people over Telangana. The TRS led by K. Chandrasekhar Rao has betrayed and cheated, lied and backstabbed every person in Telangana, crushed every dream, disappointed every aspiration and broken every promise. KCR has lied his way to power during a sentimental moment; now, in an equally strong sentimental wave, he will be crushed. He thinks he can lie his way to retain power but people know this man has to be brought down for a better future.

People will vote against the TRS because they have got nothing from their rule, except to watch angrily from the sidelines while one family is dominating and looting the state.

Q Is the irony lost when the Congress talks of family rule?
The family you refer to lives in the hearts of Telangana people. Indira Gandhi worked hard for the upliftment of the womenfolk and farmers, the downtrodden and poor. Rajiv Gandhi worked in Hyderabad as a pilot and loved the city, its culture and people. Sonia Gandhi sacrificed prime ministership and kept her word to ensure a separate Telangana, despite the anticipated crushing blow to the party in AP. Rahul Gandhi has dedicated his life for the country and people. This is a family of sacrifice, what comparison can it have with the gluttonous, power-mongering Kalvakuntla family?

Q One of the key issues you have highlighted is women empowerment — because of the strong emotional value of the issue given Mrs Indira Gandhi and Mrs Sonia Gandhi? How do you think Congress and TRS contrast on this?
KCR has declared to over 1.9 crore Telangana women over the age of 18 that he does not consider even one of them fit to be a minister. This open humiliation and statement of considering them incompetent will singularly bring down this government — KCR will learn soon that the fury that arises from scorning women is far more powerful than his coterie and money power. He has disbanded funding to DWACRA women committees, refused to honour promise to waive loans. The scholarships to girls across cities, towns and villages has been stopped. Congress, besides women having respectful representation in the Cabinet, and every echelon of power and every rank and aspect of public and government sector, will revive the empower voluntary women groups like DWCRA and fund their activities.

Q You seem to believe that the Dalits and tribals are furious with the TRS. Why? Will they still vote for Congress?
KCR must answer why a Dalit was not made Chief Minister. The TRS must answer why three acres of land were not allocated to Dalits and tribals as per their promise. Why are their children not getting scholarships from KG to PG? What do they get instead? When they protest against the tyranny of the sand mafia backed by the KCR family, Dalits are arrested illegally and tortured for daring to raise their voice against dora rajyam. This is the party which promised to make Dalit a CM and reduced their dignity to nothing. After women, it is the Dalits and tribals who want to punish this wicked cabal and are looking at the Congress to restore their dignity.

Q No party in independent India has invested in farmers before the season begins. Will not farmers vote for the TRS after Rythu Bandhu?
Everyone knows that over 80 per cent of farming land is held by a small set of big farmers. This government gave handouts to the richest, but ignored those farming on forest land, endowment land and unclaimed land. A bulk of farming is done by the landless tiller, the tenant farmer, which this government does not even recognise. The TRS government has handcuffed farmers and beaten them for asking for remuneration. Is this a farmer-friendly government? They did not even waive the loan in one instalment.

Q Do you have a face for CM against the strong and charismatic appeal of KCR? After all, elections in India these days are seen as a presidential type of fight between two leaders?
It is the benevolent and kind face of Sonia Gandhi and the inspiring face of Rahul Gandhi that people will vote for over the face of malevolence, lies, tyranny and land-lordism.

Q You have an alliance with the TD, an avowed Andhra party? Will not people in Telangana reject you for it?
When KCR tied up with the TD to fight us, it was okay. Now, when he is sensing defeat because of the alliance, he makes such dirty remarks. People will teach him a lesson. And who is he allied with? Narendra Modi and the BJP? And the MIM?

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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