Much before she entered politics by launching Talli Telangana Party over a decade ago, M. Vijayashanti, the sitting Medak MP who is contesting for the Assembly now, was very popular as an actress for her versatile roles ranging from glamorous lead lady to rebellion Ramulamma. She believes that her focus on Medak will help her win the hearts of people forever. She spoke to The Hindu on Thursday amid her busy campaigning schedule. Here are the excerpts:
How do you feel about the transition from a sitting MP to a contestant for an Assembly seat
It’s smooth and easy as my area of focus has come down from seven to one Assembly segment. I can now serve my constituents better as an MLA. It gives me an opportunity to win the hearts of many.
What made you go for Assembly seat after serving as MP for five years
People approach politicians with lot of hopes, particularly if they are elected representatives. As an MP, I could hardly meet my constituents’ genuine needs as the funds at an MP’s disposal are meagre. It was only Rs. 2 crore per annum (MPLADS) earlier which was later increased to Rs. 5 crore. Yet, it’s too meagre an amount to do even small favours in over 800 villages. MLAs have a better say in the State government and that’s why they can address people’s needs better.
Why do you think people of Medak will favour you over your rivals
First of all, they love me as a woman with fighting spirit. They know me as Ramulamma, a rebellion character I played in one of my films, and want me to fight for them as I did on the silver screen. They complain to me about their drunken husbands, eve-teasers and those misusing public money. I will try hard to address their concerns. Besides, I have been fighting for Telangana before others even took up the cause.
Why did you change two parties in five years
I merged my Talli Telangana Party with the BJP about a decade ago as the latter promised one vote two States. I quit the party as the BJP did not stand by its word and joined TRS for the cause. I quit the TRS later as its leadership suspended me from the party without citing any reason.