Interview: Chevella BJP candidate Konda Vishweshwar Reddy insists he has ‘no competition’ this election

Reddy predicted a substantial lead for the BJP in rural Telangana, estimating a voting percentage of 65 percent, contrasting sharply with the expected 20 percent for the Congress.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Apr 14, 2024 | 3:00 PM Updated Apr 17, 2024 | 10:35 PM

Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, former Chevella MP and current BJP candidate for the constituency (Supplied)

Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, former Chevella MP and current BJP candidate for the constituency, during an interview with South First asserted that the Congress exhibited significant confusion, and labelled their five guarantees in Telangana as a betrayal to their voters.

He criticised incumbent MP Ranjith Reddy, branding him as inexperienced and accusing him of engaging in scams.

Reddy predicted a substantial lead for the BJP in rural Telangana, estimating a voting percentage of 65 percent, contrasting sharply with the expected 20 percent for the Congress.

Also Read: ‘Kavitha threatened Sharat Chandra Reddy to pay money to AAP’, CBI tells court

Edited excerpts

Q. How should people perceive your shift from TRS in 2014 to Congress in 2019 and now to BJP in 2024?

A. In Telangana people jump towards the ruling party. They flock towards the ruling party because it has power. They get elected from one party and move to the ruling government.

When it is the ruling party, they have revenue and police officers in their control to engage in land scams, poultry, and egg scams, which is convenient for the ruling party.

Initially, I fought for a separate Telangana within the TRS party, leading the party in Rangareddy district when there were no MLAs.

While I was a Member of Parliament, I left TRS notifying them that the party, which was meant to be the savior of Telangana, was involved in looting the state. I might be the first MP in South India or Telangana to depart from the ruling party and align myself with the people.

While others consistently moved towards the ruling party, I have always stood with the people and this time, it was the PM Modi wave.

The Congress got sold out and I cannot associate myself with a party that has done so. That is why I am being appreciated, and people across all political parties will vote for me.

We are expecting a landslide victory in Chevella constituency with more than three to four lakh votes. In the rural areas of Telangana, BJP is expected to receive around 65 percent of the votes, while Congress is expected to receive approximately 20 percent.

We will outnumber the Congress three times over. Unfortunately, Congress and its candidates claim that we have four lakh Muslim votes and two lakh Christian votes, which would ensure our victory. This is very communal and not secular.

The Congress candidates have no experience in politics, but they are skilled at grabbing lands and blasting temples. They prioritize business interests over the needs of the people. I will always stand up against the ruling party.

Q. What is your opinion on the claim made by both ruling and opposition parties that the BJP solely focuses on religious agendas?

A. India is a spiritual country and we should focus on spirituality, social, and religious well-being and development. PM Modi is known for his emphasis on development.

In villages before PM Modi’s tenure, there were ten bank accounts, but now each villager has one bank account.

Leave aside bank accounts and motor vehicles, before PM Modi, a villager had to go to the MLA to open a bank account. Today, they could reach out to the manager directly.

They are the ones who are communal and confused. Congress is the most confused party. For instance, during the construction of the Ram Mandir, half of the Congress warned it was dangerous to go, while the other half claimed it was risky not to.

Similarly, in issues such as the liquor scam in Hyderabad and their support for Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi, their stance was inconsistent.

Despite the Congress initiating the CAA, they now oppose it. They also display confusion regarding Triple Talaq.

This lack of direction within the Congress stems from their absence of a coherent philosophy. If you ask three or five senior Congress members about their core philosophy, you’ll receive different answers, leaving party workers unsure.

In contrast, BJP candidates articulate a clear stance on Hindutva and nationalism, demonstrating clarity compared to Congress’s confusion.

BJP candidate of Chevella Konda Vishweshar Reddy in Praja-Ashirwad-Yatra in Chevella (supplied)

BJP candidate of Chevella Konda Vishweshar Reddy in Praja-Ashirwad-Yatra in Chevella (supplied)

Q. The current MP Ranjith Reddy who shifted from BRS to Congress alleged that he faces rivalry and competition from candidates over the party in Chevella. What is your take on it?

A. I don’t have any rivalry. In the villages, nobody recognise him (Ranjith Reddy).

He held a survey asking who the current MP was. Half of the people mentioned my name, while others said they didn’t know, and some mentioned Patnam Sunita Mahendra Reddy as their MP.

That’s the situation in his constituency. During this yatra, I visited about 250 villages, and I got to know that, he didn’t set foot even  in 240 of these villages.

He was an accused in a real estate scam, and there is an ongoing case against him for which the order was reserved. He lacks experience in politics and makes stupid statements to the media.

Just like how you can’t ask a doctor to be an engineer, similarly, you can’t ask scamsters to be public representatives.

He said in public ‘I have four lakh Muslim votes and I will win. I will give 2BHK homes only to those people who join my party.’ Maybe he doesn’t know that it is a government scheme.

He feels that development means real estate development. After receiving a ticket from BRS, he did a few surveys and realised that he would lose. Consequently, he left the party.

He tried to join BJP on numerous occasions, but given his stature, BJP would never grant him a ticket. Subsequently, he got a ticket from Congress.

Q. Whom do you consider as your competitor?

A. I don’t have any competitors here. There could have been a competitor but the congress is known for goof ups and they gave the ticket to the wrong candidate.

Congress is still confused as far as the Hyderabad seat is concerned. They haven’t decided yet.

Are they tied up with Asaduddin Owaisi, who they called vote-cutter (katau) because he was known to cut their Muslim votes? Now, they seem confused about whether to field a Muslim or a Hindu candidate for Hyderabad.

Congress wouldn’t dare to say ‘vote for Rahul Gandhi’ because such slogans might drive away existing voters, whereas we dared to say ‘vote for Narendra Modi’.

So, their only strategy is to give unviable promises. Even their five guarantees do not symbolise the party logo. Instead, according to the villagers, it symbolizes a slap in the face to all those who voted for them.

Also Read: With LS polls a month away, the Madiga question haunts political parties in Telangana

Q. What are the key issues of the constituency?

A. The key issue from the farmers’ side is that with the onset of summer, there is no crop insurance, leading to significant crop losses due to lack of water.

Also, all the schemes that were previously in place under the erstwhile government have stopped reaching the people. Dharani is a very big problem, created by the previous government.

The Congress promised to solve it, but it still, hasn’t been resolved. A s a result, people suddenly find that their land is no longer registered in their name, causing them to lose out on all the benefits of various schemes.

Power cuts have started and there is also a shortage of drinking water.

Though women have the zero-ticket advantage, many villages lack bus service. In one village, there is a beautiful bus stand built by the central government under the urban scheme.

Despite women having a free ticket in hand, buses do not arrive at the village. This highlights the consequence of voting for Congress.

Q. What promises did you fulfill during your tenure as an MP?

A. I don’t make unviable promises. I was elected to represent my people and except for two or three days, I have almost 100 percent attendance in the parliament.

Besides my job as an MP, I secured a ₹930 crore highway sanction, from my MPLADS fund, and I built 23 youth clubs (indoor badminton, and table tennis courts) in my constituency.

Ranjith Reddy did not do anything except build a farmhouse for himself and develop real estate, which is not real development.

(Edited by Shauqueen Mizaj)