Sitting TRS MP K Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, is up against 179 farmers who are contesting en masse, but she is not ruffled as she confidently says, "I have full faith in my farmers." The 179 farmers entered the fray for the April 11 Lok Sabha elections as a mark of protest, alleging that the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had failed to ensure Minimum Support Price for turmeric and red jowar (sorghum) produce and in getting the Turmeric Board established in Nizamabad.
There are a total of 185 candidates in the seat, prompting the Election Commission to arrange for jumbo EVMs. Kavitha says the farmers who are protesting and contesting are supporters of the BJP and the Congress. "Let them be in the fray."
Farmers in general, she says, are benefiting from the state's welfare schemes like Rythu Bandhu. Asked if she is tensed with farmers contesting en masse, Kavitha replies, "Not at all, wait till results. You will get to know."
She says the TRS swept recent assembly polls and will win handsomely in the Lok Sabha polls as well. "Out out 17 parliamentary constituencies, we will win 16 while AIMIM will bag one seat," she claims. She has been addressing rallies and is determined to visit all 40 blocks that comprise 800-odd villages in the constituency.
Kavitha, who has two kids, says it has been more than a week since she has seen them. "When I was leaving home, I told them I will be busy with elections and won't be available for the next 20 days. They said you will win anyway, so why do you want to go," she says.
Though none in the family has lost elections so far barring once, Kavitha says "nothing comes easy". After polling, she says, she has another exam -- "that of my son. I have to be with him."
Asked about her father's assessment of national politics, she says, "Honestly, we haven't talked for the last 15 days as I am in my constituency. But he believes that the development agenda of this nation needs to change." Political parties should start taking their manifestos seriously and implement all promises," she says, adding that her father, as chief minister, has given "a decent shot" at implementing the promises he made in the assembly poll.
Citing an example, she says, "We were able to fix the electricity crisis in the state within six months. If it is possible in Telangana, it is possible across the country. Right now, we are producing more power than the nation. But we are not able to efficiently distribute it. Tall leaders talk about villages without power till now, which actually looks pretty bad in the global scenario," she adds.
Asked if the 100-odd welfare schemes are putting pressure on the state exchequer, she says, "It is a wrong thought. Our chief minister's idea is to create more wealth. Economists talk about minimising spending but don't talk about wealth creation. Our government believes in creating more wealth and distributing it to the poor."
(With inputs from agencies.)