‘Stable government, secure environment BRS’ strengths’: K. Kavitha

Published : Nov 29, 2023 12:19 IST - 7 MINS READ

Bharat Rashtra Samithi MLC K Kavitha.

Bharat Rashtra Samithi MLC K Kavitha. | Photo Credit: ANI

The MLC believes that the BRS enjoys greater credibility among major parties in Telangana.

Kalvakuntla Kavitha, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao’s daughter and a Member of the Legislative Council in Telangana and a former MP, has spent the last five years trying to establish herself in the party and in State politics. In the 2019 general election, she lost to the BJP’s Arvind Dharmapuri by 70,000 votes in the Nizamabad constituency. Excerpts from an exclusive conversation she gave Frontline:

Why is the party’s leadership so confident about a hat-trick?

On the ground, people are resonating well with the BRS’ schemes. Our strength has always been ensuring that the schemes reach the beneficiaries. We focussed on rooting out corruption and ensuring a seamless execution. That’s what people are happy about.

What are the BRS’ strengths in this election besides the welfare schemes?

KCR has always been our strength. Moreover, the Congress and the BJP never live up to their promises, so I think the BRS enjoys greater credibility among the three major parties here.

A major focus of the opposition campaign has been that the State is ruled by only one family. Is this a matter of concern?

Not at all. We are not a family of three people. We are a family of 4 crore people of Telangana. The people of Telangana owned us up. Wherever we go, people tell us that they [the opposition] are saying stuff like this, but be brave, go ahead, we are with you. We have been with the people throughout the Telangana agitation. We have been with the people when we didn’t even know if the State would be formed. We ensured that we worked for the people throughout and were with them through thick and thin. I believe that is what people like about us.

Also Read | With his focus on welfare schemes, K. Chandrashekar Rao holds a commanding lead in Telangana

How do you see this factor playing out?

The same question has been consistently raised by the opposition [in the last two terms]. Even so, the people gave us the mandate in the last two terms. Nothing is more significant than the people’s mandate in a democracy, right?

Many elders say KCR is like our bidda (son) because he gave them a pension. But some castes are angry about not getting the benefits.

The other night I had a meeting with the Mudiraju community. They told me, “we do not care about State-level politics. At the local level, the MLA has been good to us. We have been getting schemes such as pensions, Kalyana Lakshmi, health benefits, KCR Kits, etc.” So they are very happy. By and large, many people have benefited from the schemes. The rest are hoping to. They know that all the schemes launched by the BRS are perennial, so there is no time limit.

You are confident that the existing schemes will bring the BRS back to power.

It’s the leader’s strength, credibility, and ability to provide a stable government and a secure environment for industries. We did not have communal riots. So, overall, there is goodwill among people.

Further, the BRS is very clear on who our Chief Minister candidate is. The Congress and the BJP aren’t clear. If you look at the Karnataka example, within four months, there is talk about changing the Chief Minister. People understand that in the Congress party there is always this confusion.

The strength of Telangana in the last 10 years has been its performance because we have a stable government and able leadership.

“In most programmes of the BRS, we have made sure that the particular economy is recharged. Our model is successful because it has a multiplier effect.”

The Congress says the BRS and the BJP are part of the same team.

This exposes the Congress’ double standards. The Congress looks for support when the ED raids Ashok Gehlot’s son, but it doesn’t give support to anyone else who is raided by the ED. If a Congress leader is raided, they call it the BJP’s vendetta, and do not see it as that when any other political party is targeted by the ED and CBI.

The Congress has been calling out KCR’s Dorala Palana [feudal rule] and saying they will bring about a Prajala Palana [people’s rule].

Rahul Gandhi is saying Dorala Palana, Prajala Palana, etc. I want to ask him, who is your current PCC [pradesh Congress chief] here? Which caste is this PCC from? Is he a Dora or not? Who is your ex-PCC? Was he a Dora or not? Who is your top leadership? Are they Doralu or not? Look at the entire composition of the Congress today; theirs would be the Dorala Palana. If they only refer to a particular caste as Doras, that is not right.

What are the BRS’ priorities in the election?

We have always campaigned on the strength of truth. We have told people where we were able to deliver and what we were not able to deliver.

What do you think the BRS was not able to provide? How do you plan to rectify it?

Our initial goal was to construct eight lakh houses, but we managed to complete nearly four lakh [officially recorded as 2.91 lakh] homes. This shortfall has been primarily attributed to limited availability of land and a lack of contractor interest. In an effort to mitigate this gap, we have introduced the Gruhalakshmi scheme, providing Rs.3 lakh for an individual with a plot of land. To date, we have disbursed approximately 1,00,000 Gruhalakshmi benefits. The idea is to ensure that everyone in Telangana owns a house.

Also Read | ‘BRS has looted the people of Telangana’: Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka

The Congress manifesto promises schemes such as free bus rides for women. Will the BRS have something exclusive on those lines?

Most of our manifesto is to make sure that women’s lives become easy. Most of the work we have done so far is also towards women’s empowerment. For instance, when we look at 24 hours of power, it is a great relief to women. The 24 hours of running water saves a lot of energy and time for women. In our pensions, we have prioritised women. Ninety-nine per cent of beedi rollers are women. Whatever housing we have given to date is only given for women, that is, property registered in the name of the women. We have worked on the right to property, financial independence. The KCR Kit [Rs.13,000] is basically to make sure that pregnant women have a choice not to work. We will provide fine rice on ration cards and insurance on the lines of Rythu Bima. Ninety per cent of the schemes are targeted and given to women. Most of these make women’s lives easier.

The Congress says that the BRS’ activities only help people with subsistence and are not equivalent to redistributing wealth.

In most programmes of the BRS, we have made sure that the particular economy is recharged. Our model is successful because it has a multiplier effect. For example, giving Rs.15 lakh to every self-help group means that these women can get together and set up small enterprises. We will next help them set up food processing industries.

What is the vision for the next five years?

The idea is to make sure that most of the housing that is left unfulfilled is taken up as a priority. In the first two terms, we had taken up agriculture, industrial growth, and environment as a priority. Whatever is left to be done will be taken up, and whatever we are already doing will get a boost.

For example, in terms of irrigation, Palamuru will be completed, adding 50 lakh more acres to farming. A new food processing sector will come up in every constituency.

Foundations have been laid in the first two terms. Now, we aim for better, much bigger growth.

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