“Jai Telangana, Jai Andhra.” It took Kalvakuntla Kavitha, the Lok Sabha MP from Nizamabad constituency in neighbouring Telangana and daughter of K Chandrasekhar Rao, the chief minister of India’s newest state, exactly those four words to win the gathering at the National Women’s Parliament.
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With Telangana and Andhra Pradesh still sharing resources in Hyderabad, officially the capital of the former, her ‘friendly visit’ on Friday — the first day of the meet — was much looked-forward to.
Calling the National Women’s Parliament a “one-of-its-kind” event, Kavitha said that reservation is a right, and not a favour, for women.
“First, we have not even got the 33 per cent reservation, and, second, the concept (itself) is flawed. Political parties should give 33 per cent reservation (to women candidates), and not just Parliament,” she told The Indian Express. “When parties give reservation, women will have more chances to get elected. Otherwise there will be a contest among women (in constituencies reserved for women), there will be quota, and women will end up fighting each other.”
Asked whether she or her brother — K T Rama Rao, an MLA and Telangana minister — would take over the party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, from their father KCR, Kavitha said, “My father knows Telangana like the back of his hand. Ours is not a traditional party that will see a fight for succession. We have come out of a movement and each MLA and MP has fought for Telangana.”
Kavitha pointed out that there are no new Maoist recruits in a state once ravaged by left-wing extremism. “I have always seen Maoism as a social problem, and it will go away if better resources are allocated to villages. “There is no new recruit (in Telangana areas). There is some problem in the areas on the borders of Chhahttisgarh and Gadchiroli (Maharashtra), and we are containing that,” the TRS MP said.