‘TRS dumping money in Dubbak but can’t stop Congress’

Congress leaders Uttam Kumar Reddy and Reavnth Reddy, along with party candidate Srinivas Reddy, campaigning in Dubbak constituency on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Mohd Arif

A byelection will not change the fortunes of any political party or the government irrespective of the result but for Telangana Congress the Dubbak bypoll has some significance as it is the first test for the new AICC incharge Manickam Tagore.

TPCC chief N. Uttam Kumar Reddy says they are fighting against money bags and misuse of official machinery from both Central and State governments. But he feels the first successful step is bringing back Cheruku Srinivas Reddy from the ruling TRS and announcing as party candidate.

Question: What is the party’s slogan and strategy for this election?

Answer: We are fighting against the hundreds of crores of money being dumped by both Central and State governments for their candidates. We believe in service-oriented politics and thus want to expose both TRS and BJP candidates by asking them to take money but vote for Congress.

Dubbak was ignored in the last 15 years by the TRS MLA and all the development seen was done during the Congress rule. Muthyam Reddy, whose son Srinivas Reddy is the party candidate, is the most respected face of Dubbak even after his death. Srinivas Reddy returned from the USA to serve the constituency through a farmers NGO and his clean image adds strength to the party.

There have been several defections to the ruling party during the campaign. What impact will it have?

Finance Minister T. Harish Rao is on a buying spree shamelessly. One of our mandal leaders Lakshman Goud from Thoguta went on record how he was offered money by the Minister. People are surprised why the TRS has to buy leaders from other parties when it claims of developing the constituency over the last 15 years.

Finance Minister T. Harish Rao argues Congress has no right to ask for votes?

All the voters we are meeting, irrespective of the party affiliation, recall the development done by Muthyam Reddy. Dubbak is totally neglected by the TRS and it dumped funds in the neighbouring constituencies – Siddipet, Sircilla and Gajwel at the cost of Dubbak. People have realised this step-motherly attitude towards Dubbak. So TRS has no right to ask for votes.

How will you overcome the sympathy factor for the TRS candidate?

There is no visible sympathy unlike the bypolls conducted after the death of the MLA. She is under Harish Rao’s shadow and can’t take up Dubbak issues. So we are asking people to vote for Srinivas Reddy, who will ensure Dubbak is heard in the Assembly. If there is any sympathy it is for Ms. Sonia Gandhi for giving Telangana.

Congress looks united in this election with all senior leaders putting in their efforts. Will it strengthen the party’s chances?

All top leaders of the party who are capable of heading the state unit have taken up responsibility at the village level as well. I should thank them. We agree our party structure was weakened in Dubbak but our unified efforts have rejuvenated party at the village level and it will have an impact across the state.

Your party has been critical of the police role in the elections?

It is unfortunate that police force is being grossly misused. The intelligence department loaded with officers belonging to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s social group have been illegally tapping our phones using clone technology. Congress MPs will raise it in Parliament and I am warning those officers that their deeds will be exposed.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 10:43:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/trs-dumping-money-in-dubbak-but-cant-stop-congress/article32993341.ece

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