EXCLUSIVE | KCR’s blackmail won’t work: Revanth Reddy

A Revanth Reddy spoke to DH’s E.T.B. Sivapriyan about the performance of the TRS Government, the People’s Alliance and KCR

Revanth Reddy, Congress Working President and Kodangal MLA. Credit: Facebook/@revanthofficial

"Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao does not have anything to show as an achievement and that is the reason that he has been emotionally blackmailing people and trying to create a division between the people of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh," said A Revanth Reddy, Congress Working President and Kodangal MLA.
Reddy, who has emerged as the star Congress campaigner in Telangana, spoke to DH’s E.T.B. Sivapriyan about the performance of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Government, the challenges before the People’s Alliance and the statements made by KCR. Excerpts from the interview:
Q: You were with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) earlier and the Congress appointed you as one of the working presidents a few months after you joined the party. In these elections, you have become one of the star campaigners for the Congress. How do you feel?
A: I was the Working President of the Telangana TDP, floor leader of the party in the Assembly and a politburo member. I have experience of leading the legislators and working for political parties in the state. The Congress has now given me an opportunity to work for the people and I will perform to ensure that people get benefited due to my role. I am taking the responsibility in a positive manner and doing the best for the party.
Q: The TDP and the Congress were arch-rivals in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for decades and now, both parties have come together as part of the People’s Alliance. Are cadres of both parties at the ground level happy with the arrangement?
A: The credit for the two parties coming together should go to (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and KCR (Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao). It is only because of KCR’s concerted efforts to break the Congress and the TDP that these parties have been brought together. As far as Telangana is concerned, there are only two groups – pro-KCR and anti-KCR. According to me, both the MIM and the BJP have a tacit understanding with the TRS and can be termed as pro-KCR. The Congress, the TDP, the CPI and the TJS are against KCR and we have formed a formal alliance. There is no problem at the ground level as the cadres are united and want TRS to be defeated.
Q: You have been attacking KCR and his party at almost every public meeting that you have addressed so far. What do you think is the biggest failure of KCR?
A: Not fulfilling the promises made to the people during the Telangana movement and while contesting the 2014 Assembly elections is the biggest failure of KCR. People now understand that KCR cannot deliver on his promises like providing employment to one person in every household, a two-bedroom flat for the homeless, three-acre land for landless Dalit farmers, 12 per cent reservation for minorities and boosting agriculture production. People wanted a separate state only because they did not get jobs in a united Andhra Pradesh state. And even 4.5 years after the formation of Telangana, unemployment is the biggest issue. He has failed on all fronts. Above all, he has not come forward to help all the families whose members sacrificed their lives for the Telangana cause. He has betrayed almost every section of society.
Q: But KCR and TRS claim that they have fulfilled most of the promises made to the people and their rule has infused development into the whole of Telangana state. What is your response?
A: KCR is mistaken that his family of four persons – himself, son KT Ramarao, daughter Kavitha and nephew T Harish Rao – is Telangana. He thinks his family’s growth is Telangana’s growth. We want KCR to talk about the four crore people of Telangana who waited with bated breath for a new state. His rule has come as a major disappointment for the people since all he did was only to engineer defections from other parties. Even today, unable to deal with desertions from his party, he is trying to foment trouble in other political parties. If he is too sure about his party romping home in the Dec. 7 elections, why is he holding so many meetings every day? Why is he trying to emotionally blackmail the people?
Q: From flaunting his schemes and freebies, KCR’s speeches have now boiled down to political and personal attacks against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Why you do think KCR is involved in Naidu-bashing and what do you make of KCR’s statements that Andhra Pradesh politicians will control Telangana if the Congress-TDP combine captures power?
A: He does not have anything to show to the people after 4.5 years and now, during elections he wants maximum attention and votes. I am sure people will see through his design and elect the Congress-led People’s Alliance. As far as Chandrababu Naidu is concerned, he does not even possess a vote in Telangana and by that logic, he cannot even contest in the local body elections. How can he rule Telangana? People know that if the Congress comes to power, it is the party leaders from Telangana who will rule the state and his attempts to create a division among the people of Andhra and Telangana will not work this time. Since he has nothing to show, he has now resorted to emotional blackmailing. In the next two to three days, I think he will start crying before the people and beg them to vote for him. He is an excellent actor who can don both hero and villain roles at the same time.
Q: What do you think will work for the Congress’ alliance?
A: KCR’s failures and the need for a change among the people. People who voted for KCR in the hope that he will deliver now feel cheated and expect the Congress to fulfil their aspirations.
Q: What is your opinion on the TDP chief trying to bring all Opposition parties to a single platform at the national level?
A: We should again thank (Narendra) Modi for bringing the Congress and the TDP at the national level too. It is only because of Modi’s penchant for misusing institutions and trying to create trouble in every party that all Opposition parties have come together. Chandrababu Naidu is a respected leader at the national level and I am sure Rahul Gandhi will lead the country after the 2019 elections. He is best suited to be the Prime Minister of the country.
Q: What will be your role if the Congress wins the Telangana Assembly polls?
A: There are two opinions in every political system – the people and the political party. Ultimately, what the party decides is important. After the elections, Congress MLAs will meet and elect the CLP leader. The role for me or any other person will be decided by the party.
Q: You have no ambitions of becoming the chief minister in case the Congress wins?
A: Nothing to do with my ambitions. I will respect the party decision and abide by it.


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EXCLUSIVE | KCR’s blackmail won’t work: Revanth Reddy


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