Telangana balladeer Gummadi Vithal Rao, popularly known as Gaddar, has said he is trying to form a platform that will support 120 parliamentary poll candidates in the southern states.
“I am trying to form a South Indian Cultural Association forum which will support 120 MP candidates in the south states. I think I share a common vision with the people I am trying to get together,’’ Gaddar, 71, said.
The revolutionary poet said he will try to get together Tamil super star Rajinikanth, actors Kamal Haasan and Pavan Kalyan, and others who have recently floated parties as an alternative to the existing national and regional parties, and form a platform to contest elections.
On Monday, he was at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh at the invitation of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katch, a Chennai-based Dravidian Tamil nationalist party, to speak at a meeting on Dalit issues.
He said his long-term vision is to galvanise the country’s youth in the 25-35 years age group to join politics and fight for social justice, Dalit rights, poverty alleviation and equality. “It is for the younger generation to bring about change, a new vision… I can only give guidance. That is my dream. My health is not very good as an old bullet injury gives me a lot of pain and I am a diabetic too. But I will go around South India and around the country, if possible, and talk to people about my vision of social justice and poverty alleviation.”
“My perspective is long-term; not just to contest the coming election or become an MLA and MP and forget my duties for the next five years. If I feel it is necessary to achieve my objectives, I will launch a political party at a later date,’’ he added.
In the past, Gaddar has been invited by Left parties, Telangana Jana Samiti, the CPM-supported T MAS Forum and, recently, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The balladeer has refused to join them. “I don’t want to be tied up with one organisation or party. There are various platforms available to try to achieve my objectives,’’ he said.
“Representatives of AAP proposed that I lead their Telangana unit or support them if I launch a party. I said I won’t join, but if I feel it right, I will support them. I told them I have not yet decided when to launch a party, but it is true that I intend to do so. They invited me to attend a meeting of 2,000 AAP members in Hyderabad on August 16 and I agreed,’’ Gaddar said.
“I gave my word to people that I will sing and speak till I die and I will keep that promise and go wherever necessary,’’ he said. Even after 70 years of Independence, large sections continue to be socially and politically oppressed. I want to be the catalyst for change.’’