K T Rama Rao, state minister and son of Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao, speaks to The Indian Express about the initiatives of the TRS government, the party’s outlook for the forthcoming elections and why it is not considering Prajakutami as a rival.
What do you think are the three main reasons people may vote TRS to power again?
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) led by K Chandrashekar Rao has provided an ideal government that is progressive, development-oriented and at the same time ensuring welfare of people of the state. Second, TRS gave a stable government to the people and strove to fulfil their aspirations. We made long-term investments in infrastructure, health, irrigation and urban infrastructure. The TRS government has given special importance to setting up of super-specialty hospitals across the state. We made sure every area hospital in Telangana has at least a 10-bed ICU unit. Third, we have launched dozens of welfare schemes for all sections of the society and people are very happy with them.
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What is the best step the state government has taken in your opinion?
The Rythu Bandhu scheme is a game-changer. No state or government has ever introduced a scheme that gives farm investment incentive directly into the bank accounts of lakhs of farmers. It is preventing farmers from falling into the vicious cycle of debt traps. The scheme has been hailed by economists and agriculture experts. No scheme has benefited farmers anywhere as much as Rythu Bandhu in Telangana. The CM is being hailed as a hero and saviour because of this scheme.
How is TRS tackling anti-incumbency? The party has nominated more than 100 MLAs, many of them facing the ire of people. Many new aspirants are also unhappy. How is the party handling it?
There will be some dissatisfaction towards some elected representatives. In a vibrant democracy like ours, there is bound to be resentment against the incumbent after a few years. But I don’t think in our case it is more than 50 per cent, and people will re-elect all the TRS candidates.
What do you think of the Prajakutami, the emerging alliance of Congress, TDP and a few other Opposition parties?
I have said earlier too, the alliance is a ‘maha gathiya bandhan’. It is all about opportunistic politics. We don’t consider the alliance our rival. Each political party in the alliance is coming up with its own manifesto. The alliance is a big mess. Yes, Congress is our rival, but I think it will come a distant second. The alliance aims at grabbing the anti-TRS vote but ground reports suggest they won’t get many. On December 11, they and everyone will know what a resounding victory people have given us.
Only CM Rao can continue development of the state he has undertaken and take care of underprivileged sections. The alliance will fail miserably because the parties are not only unable to decide on seat-sharing but each party in the alliance has its own CM candidate.
The TRS government has planned development in Telangana with a lot of vision. Be it investment in infrastructure or providing benefits to marginalised communities, everything is aimed at making Telangana the top state in the country.
What is the most compelling feedback you get from people during your campaign?
People want the pro-poor and welfare schemes to continue. People from different social and economic backgrounds tell us how KCR has changed their lives with community-specific welfare schemes. They want the TRS to come back to power so that this ideal and people-friendly government can continue.
TRS made a lot of promises in 2014. What is it offering this time?
We have announced new schemes like unemployment allowance of Rs 3,016, increasing Rythu Bandhu amount from Rs 8,000 to 10,000 per acre per year, loan waiver of up to Rs 1 lakh, Rs 3,016 for physically challenged, and Rs 2,016 pension for all senior citizens.