K Kavitha, Anupriya Patel and Pratap Simha, first-time MPs of TRS, Apna Dal and BJP respectively, talk about the hurdles they face in Parliament and their views on J&K and Article 370. This Idea Exchange was moderated by Senior Editor D K Singh
K KAVITHA: I am a Masters in Computer Science and I was part of the Telangana movement for seven years. I run an NGO called Telangana Jagruthi, and we have tried to revive ethnic festivals that are getting lost in these Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day etc… After the formation of the Telangana state, our TRS party formed the government. Then I won the (Lok Sabha) election from Nizamabad. My area of interest, other than representing the aspirations of the people of Telangana, is the Jammu and Kashmir issue. I hope that this government, which has a massive majority, will take serious decisions and implement them.
ANUPRIYA PATEL: My journey is not very old in politics. I joined politics after my father’s demise in 2010, and 2012 was the first election of my life. I spent two years as an MLA and now I am an MP from Mirzapur, UP. One of my prime concerns is uplifting the living conditions of tribals in Mirzapur. There are other issues — the poor standard of education and medical facilities — which I will try to bring to the notice of the government. I’m one of the allies of the BJP, a very small ally with only two members in the House. So I have my party issues as well. My party is working for the backwards, tribals and Scheduled Castes. I feel the government is not giving attention to this aspect. I have tried to speak to the Prime Minister on these issues, that a major section of the OBCs and the SC/STs turned in your favour. They quit the SP, BSP, and turned to you because they found that you’re a man of hope.
Coming to Parliament is a great experience because now you know what a big responsibility it is and how the House works, the rules, techniques, devices. It’s an enriching experience and, as a young MP, exciting also. You become anxious because you don’t know lots of things and at the same time you feel good too because it’s such a big platform, the entire nation is watching you and you can learn and contribute so much.
PRATAP SIMHA: I represent Mysore-Kodagu constituency in Karnataka. I’m a Kannada journalist. My column is called Bettale Prapancha, which means ‘naked world’, it bares facts. I write on contemporary issues, sports, politics — anything, except science and technology. When the general elections were announced, the state and central BJP were looking for an image makeover, so they looked for achievers from other fields. Two or three names were announced, and one was mine. I’m also the biographer of the first unofficial biography of Narendra Modiji. continued…