BJP Telangana chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar at Tommidi Rekula village in Ranga Reddy district on Tuesday. DC
HYDERABAD: There would be a tectonic shift in Telangana politics after the May 14 public meeting to be addressed by Union home minister and BJP strongman Amit Shah, said president of the Telangana state BJP unit Bandi Sanjay Kumar on Tuesday.
Speaking exclusively with Deccan Chronicle after the second leg of his Praja Sangrama Yatra entered its 27th day, Sanjay said that Shah’s public address will be a watershed moment in showcasing to the people in Telangana, who are both ready and eager for a change from the TRS government.
Earlier, hundreds of people waited patiently in the scorching sun to witness the yatra’s enter Ranga Reddy district to give him a warm welcome, with the older activists showering rose petals while women offered a traditional aarti and applied vermilion tilak even as youth jostled to take selfies with the marching leader.
The BJP confirmed that Shah would be addressing a public meeting near Tukkuguda in Maheswaram mandal of Ranga Reddy district on Saturday, for which the saffron party is expecting five lakh people to turn up.
The BJP in the state is growing in confidence with the massive increase of the party base and easily perceptible public support for its fight against the pink party, Sanjay, who is also the Karimnagar Lok Sabha member, said, fighting the heat and exhaustion with characteristic sangfroid.
Taking time off from the rough and tumble of his walkathon across several districts in the state to meet and understand the problems of people from different walks of life, Sanjay said that people are very eager to listen to what Shah has to tell them.
"Our party leaders and workers are working enthusiastically to make the meeting into a watershed one, a success like no other political party meeting in the state so far. The very presence of over five lakh people would demonstrate the direction of the political winds in Telangana and show how the will of the people which is yearning for change from the TRS government is resolved to vote for a double-engine government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Sanjay said.
The enthusiasm for the Amit Shah meeting, he said, was such that in some mandals people were getting new clothes stitched to wear for the event.
"Our appeal to the people, who have given two consecutive terms each to the Telugu Desam, the Congress and the TRS, and are yet feeling deceived and betrayed, to consider us for just one term is resonating very well. People are increasingly of the belief that only when BJP is given an opportunity to govern in the state would they benefit from true good governance," he said.
Calling the TRS, an ‘ek Niranjan’ party, Sanjay said the BJP was ready for polls no matter when they are announced. "KCR is whimsical. He could just wake up one day and declare elections. The TRS does not have a collective leadership or a sense of responsibility towards people. We are ready for polls whenever KCR decides to have them," Sanjay said.
When asked how the BJP will approach the next elections, Sanjay said his party would go it alone and not have a truck with any party.
"We have fought alone in the past two elections and will do so again. But the Congress, by declaring that it will not join hands with the TRS, actually revealed its real intention, which is to partner with the TRS. The Congress leadership believes, having seen how most of its elected MLAs jump ship and defect to the TRS, that the same could happen again after next elections. It seems the Congress has deducted that since its legislators will defect, why get into a fight with the TRS at all?
The Congress statement on not having an alliance with the TRS was for public consumption but their plan to partner with TRS became common knowledge and resulted in huge public resentment against both those parties," he said.
His party, Sanjay said, does not believe in making promises for the sake of making them, unlike Chandrashekar Rao. "In 2014, he did not think he would win and come to power so made several promises, including three acres of land for Dalits, a Dalit CM, one job per family, drinking water to every home. He has no intention of doing so," he said.
The Congress’ promise of Rs 2 lakh farm loan waiver too fell into the same category, Sanjay quipped.
"The BJP padayatra is to understand what people need by listening to and interacting with them. We are finalizing our plans based on what people need and want. We are finding out, first-hand, problems being faced by farmers, women, youth and the poor during this padayatra.
Decisions on what people need cannot be taken by a group of politicians sitting in an air-conditioned room. From what we are learning from this yatra, we will study and prepare plans to meet all needs of people," he said.
Sanjay said he was seeing farmers vexed with uncertainty that the TRS government brought into their lives by not fulfilling the Rs 1 lakh farm loan waiver and not ensuring MSP for crops, and not purchasing their produce on time.
"They are sick with worry. They need to be given confidence, courage. The TRS government gave Rythu Bandhu and then took everything away leaving farmers in the lurch," he said. "Farmers have told me they don’t want false promises."
The state BJP president said it was not his individual padayatra but of the party, and added that "the response has been tremendous, beyond what we expected."
"We are explaining to people how the Centre gives funds for nearly everything, but the TRS government claims the schemes and programmes are theirs, be it construction of community halls, purchasing of crops. People have understood the truth of how PM Modi has been giving funds and KCR squandering them. Even TRS sarpanches are telling us that their fate would have been much worse but for the Modi government’s programmes and support. People have realised Telangana needs a double-engine government. When the BJP government at the Centre is providing funds, they are not being used properly by the TRS government because KCR does not want Modi to get credit for programmes taken up for people’s welfare."
Sanjay took aim at the law and order situation in the state, saying every major incident of crime reported in the recent past, such as suicide by a family, death by suicide of a harassed by a BJP worker in Khammam district, a woman victimised in Kukatpally — all of them had some TRS leaders and workers as accused. "This is why the TRS government is ignoring these cases. It does not bother because its leaders are involved and criminals of all kinds are being supported by TRS leadership," he said. "Even when a Dalit man was killed for marrying a girl he loved by workers of the MIM, the CM has not spoken a word. Is that what being a Bandhu for Dalits mean?"