Interview with Praveen Kumar: How is parallelly resolving people's problems

From the ED chargesheet naming Kalvakuntla Kavitha in the Delhi Liquor Scam to the Munugode election result, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Telangana President RS Praveen Kumar spoke his heart out in an interview with NewsMeter; Excerpts

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  27 Dec 2022 7:30 AM GMT
Interview with Praveen Kumar: How is parallelly resolving peoples problems

"Where did Kalvakuntla Kavitha get those Rs.100 crores? Why is the TRS party silent on it? Why is the CM not talking when one of his party's MLCs is a suspect? Is it true that she destroyed her 11 mobile phones without any evidence? The liquor scam is just the tip of the iceberg. Kavitha is just a cog in the wheel. And nothing will happen without the knowledge of the Chief Minister."

From the ED chargesheet naming Kalvakuntla Kavitha in the Delhi Liquor Scam to the Munugode election result, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Telangana President RS Praveen Kumar spoke his heart out in an interview with NewsMeter; Excerpts

Q) Certainly, it was not about winning. What does the Munugode by-election result mean to you and the party?

RSP: It gives me a lot of confidence. I am a first-time politician. And I stood by clean politics without bribing the voters. The BSP got 4,106 votes in Munugode without even spending a single penny. And it was a by-election where the ruling party and the BJP spent around Rs.1,000 crores. Moreover, we have come up from the eighth position to the fourth position. So people are realizing now that BSP is a formal option.

Q) Do you think the youth are more attracted to the BSP? If so, why?

RSP: I am for education and employment. Wherever we go, it is the youth who give us the power. We want to give 10 lakh jobs. It is not difficult. Chief Minister, conspiratorially, blocked all the jobs for four years and suddenly during the elections, he decided to fill the vacancies. He is an `election' chief minister.

RSP started a 300-day state-wide yatra named Bahujan Rajyadhikara Yatra (BRY) on 6 March 2022.

Q) Where is the BRY at? How is a regular day at the yatra?

RSP: Currently, the yatra is in Peddapalli. We have completed 153 days of the yatra. My target is to cover about 5,000 villages in Telangana. So far, I have traveled 19,000 kilometers and have covered 1,200 plus villages. The format of the yatra is that we do town halls in colonies, bastis, slum areas, agriculture fields, factories, and labor addas. In the evenings, we do public meetings. So pre-lunch, it is more of listening, and post-lunch, it is more of speaking. We don't pay money and mobilize people. Our deeds speak for us.

Q) You have completed almost half of the yatra. Can you recall some of the most moving instances from the yatra?

RSP: There have been many instances when I got overwhelmed. I met a lot of parents who dropped their children out of school because the earning member of the family met with an accident. I met a lot of tenant farmers and came to know that quite a few of them have committed suicide. Another thing that troubles me is the rampant availability of liquor. Around 30 percent of women lost their husbands to excessive drinking or accidents due to drunk driving. Some even committed suicide because they did not enough money to buy liquor. Homelessness is another rampant thing in the villages.

Q) Are the people of Telangana happy with the current government?

RSP: People are angry with the government. Nobody is happy. Neither students, teachers, nor workers.

Q) Recently, a Forest Range Officer was killed in a clash with the Gutti Koya tribes in Bhadradri Kothagudem. How do you look at the incident and the larger issue of podu lands?

RSP: Whatever the tribal people have done to the officer is wrong. But the attempt to excommunicate them is not the right thing. Why these tribal people have been pushed to that extreme is the question that the state must ask itself.

Another important point is that successive governments allotted land to poor, scheduled caste, and scheduled tribe people. These lands are being re-assumed again by the state to make them real estate ventures. Poor have been lured with an offer of 500 square yards asking them to keep quiet. So to serve the interests of the high-end mighty, poor people's assets have been poached because they have no voice. So is the case with tribal people. They have been asking for the podu land rights.

Q) Is there any specific issue in the state that you think needs immediate attention?

RSP: Justice to the police constable candidates. I have been fighting against the draconian rule that they should jump for 4 meters and only then they are eligible.

On 23 November, BSP launched a new portal called across India. In one month, the portal has already received 300 complaints in Telangana.

Q) What is the newly launched portal all about?

RSP: It is a portal that compiles all the people's problems. We give it to our field cadres and then try to solve them. The moment we receive a complaint in the control room, the ticket is allocated to the field cadres to resolve it. If it cannot be solved, we fight for it.

Q) Where would you be contesting from in the upcoming legislative assembly elections in Telangana in 2023?

RSP: I have not decided where I will contest from. Probably my party will decide that. We are going to contest alone and will be contesting all 119 seats.

Before he bids adieu, RSP said he was a police officer in the Telangana movement and deployed at the OU campus. "I saw bodies of both students and officers. In their suicide notes, they wrote- If Telangana comes, I will get jobs. If Telangana comes, there will be prosperity. Do the people sitting in the Chief Minister's office care about the letters written by those martyrs? When you compare those letters with the deeds of the government, it is a very tragic, sordid end to the whole episode called the Telangana movement," he said

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