Interview| BJP is not serious about Telangana elections, so I quit party: Somarapu Satyanarayana

Interestingly, the Ramagundam assembly constituency has a history of sending independent candidates to the assembly.

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  8 Nov 2023 6:52 AM GMT
Interview| BJP is not serious about Telangana elections, so I quit party: Somarapu Satyanarayana

Ramagundam: “Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was not serious about elections in Telangana, which is one of the reasons for me to quit the party", said Somarapu Satyanarayana, a former BJP leader who has quit the party to contest as an independent from Ramagundam assembly constituency in Peddapalli district.

The 75-year-old leader, unable to achieve the party's objectives due to various challenges, is now determined to pursue victory as an independent candidate. His opponents in this electoral contest include Korukanti Chander from the BRS, MS Raj Thakoor representing the Congress, and Kandula Sandhya Rani from the BJP.

Satyanarayana, who worked as the first Ramagundam Municipal Chairman, was elected as MLA as an independent candidate from the Ramagundam constituency in 2009 and supported the Congress. Later, he joined BRS and was re-elected on a TRS ticket in 2014. In 2018, he lost the election and shifted loyalties to the BJP. Satyanarayana, who worked as the BJP district president, resigned from the post and decided to contest as an independent.

Interestingly, the Ramagundam assembly constituency has a history of sending independent candidates to the assembly.

In an interview with NewsMeter at his residence in Pragathi Nagar, Somarapu outlined his vision and plans for the district should he be elected as an MLA.

This interview is part of NewsMeter's election coverage.

Excerpts of the interview

Q. What are the issues faced by the people of Ramagundam, and how would you resolve them?

A. I have made significant progress in solving most problems affecting our district. However, some critical issues, such as unemployment and the lack of proper road infrastructure remain. Unfortunately, our patients need to go to super-specialty and corporate hospitals for treatment. As a solution, I have been able to secure approval for the construction of a 100-bed ESI hospital. Despite this, there has been no progress in the development of the hospital even after five years.

Q. Why did you not choose a party to contest this election?

A. I was comfortable being a part of the BJP, but I didn't see any serious efforts being made by them for the upcoming elections. Even when I asked them about it three months ago, they couldn't give me a satisfactory answer. People urged me to run independently. I have gained a lot of confidence from the people, thanks to my long-standing role as the first Municipal Chairman for Ramagundam and Chairman for TSRTC. Now, I want to take a chance and run independently.

Q. If Telangana CM KCR calls you to join BRS, what will be your reply?

A. Yes, I have got a call from the BRS party who offered me to join the party. We made some proposals which were not accepted.

Q. How would you address the unemployment issue?

A. We have only big industries, and I'm trying for local industries so that jobs are generated for local youth. Suppose you want to transport a truckload of fertilizers or coal from Ramagundam to Hyderabad, it costs Rs 35000. However, it costs the same truck Rs 8000 from Hyderabad to Ramagundam. As of now, we only have larger industries, and I aim to establish small-scale industries to create job opportunities for the residents.

Q. How will you convince your voters?

A. The expenditure spent for elections by other parties is 100 times more than what I could spend. All I go with is my image. Satyanarayana is honest; Satyanarayana can bring projects and get the job done. I study what is happening in the state and try to implement the same in Ramagundam, like a 24-hour water supply and underground drainage system.

About Ramagudam

Ramagundam, with a population of 15 lakh people, has around 2,15,00 registered voters. The majority of its residents work as employees in major industries such as Singareni Collieries, NTPC, Ramagundam Thermal Power Station, and Kesoram Cement Factory. The city is divided into two administrative units, known as mandals - Pallakurthi, which comprises 13 villages, and Antarga, which has 16 gram panchayats. Despite having a stable population, the city has not been able to develop much, possibly due to a lack of floating population.

Some of the major issues include unemployment with no floating population and contaminated water due to the lack of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) in the industries. The dominant communities include Munnur Kapu, Padmashaali, Goud and Mudiraju.

Ramagundam has dry inland climatic conditions with hot summers and cool winters. The summer season is extremely hot, but temperatures decline with the onset of the monsoons. In September 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated a Rs 6,000-crore 800MW NTPC power plant at Ramagundam.

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