People who fought for statehood neglected during TRS regime: Kodandaram
Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) chief M Kodandaram, who has joined the Congress-led alliance for the state assembly polls, alleged people who fought for statehood were neglected during the TRS regime and powers were concentrated in the hands of an "unresponsive" Chief Minister. The TJS was founded earlier this year by Kodandaram, a retired Osmania University Political Science Professor who led the Telangana Joint Action Committee (T-JAC) formed in 2009 with the goal of achieving a separate Telangana state. An umbrella organisation of different pro-Telangana political and non-political groups, T-JAC had spearheaded the statehood movement. Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in 2014.
The TJS is contesting the December 7 polls to the 119-member Telangana Assembly in a Congress-led opposition alliance and has been allotted eight seats. "The last four years rule is a miserable failure", Prof. Kodandaram told PTI in an interview when asked about his assessment of the performance of the TRS government. "We expected the Telangana government to be more responsive, more democratic. It hasn't been. MLAs are powerless; Ministers are mere figureheads and all powers are concentrated in the hands of the Chief Minister who doesn't respond", he alleged.
Those who took part in the Telangana agitation and trying to make a representation to the government were unable to get any response, he said claiming it was the "most bitter" experience everyone faced. Also, they did not get any recognition for their role in the struggle and were completely neglected and marginalised whereas people who had not fought in any struggle, sat in very important positions and were key players in the decision-making process during the TRS regime, he alleged. He also claimed none of the aspirations of the people was fulfilled.
"In the name of projects, only contractors made money and politicians got commission but people have not been benefited in any way," he charged. The TRS, he said, made a lot of promises but none of them was fulfilled. People are unhappy that the government they elected with a hope that something better would happen, "never responds". TJS was formed to secure the implementation of the aspirations of Telangana struggle, he said. On why he chose to join hands with the Congress, Kodandaram noted that the election came sooner than expected. "Both to popularise the agenda and to mobilise support for the agenda, we thought that we have to join hands with others. That's a widespread feeling in Telangana today. If political parties are divided, then votes will get divided and the benefit goes to TRS", he said. The TJS leader claimed that none wanted the TRS back in power again and there was pressure on all (opposition parties) to stick together even if it meant sacrificing some interests.
(With inputs from agencies.)