Interview: There is growing people’s discontent against Jagan in Pulivendula, says BTech Ravi of TDP

Jagan has been an MLA from this constituency since 2014. In 2019, he polled over 73 percent of the votes and won by over 90,000 votes.

BySumit Jha

Published May 08, 2024 | 8:00 AMUpdatedMay 09, 2024 | 12:29 PM

Interview: There is growing people’s discontent against Jagan in Pulivendula, says BTech Ravi of TDP

The Pulivendula Assembly constituency in Andhra Pradesh is the bastion of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. Jagan Mohan Reddy, his mother, late father, and uncle have held it since 1978.

Jagan has been the MLA since 2014. In the last election in 2019, he polled over 73 percent of the votes and won the seat by over 90,000 votes.

However, the TDP has fielded Mareddy Ravindranath Reddy this time, popularly known as Btech Ravi. He is the TDP’s in-charge of the Pulivendula constituency and a former MLC.

A local and vocal critic of Jagan, he is fighting the election for the second time. The first time was in 2011 against Y S Vijayamma, when YSRCP was formed after the demise of YS Rajasekhar Reddy. In that election, he also lost his deposit.

Thirteen years later, South First caught up with him during his current election campaign. He seemed confident enough to give a tough fight to the sitting CM.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

Q. This constituency is the Chief Minister’s stronghold. What basis do you have for contesting against him?

A. No new industry has emerged in the Chief Minister’s constituency in the last five years. This lack of industrial growth has disheartened students seeking employment opportunities as they witness firsthand stagnation. Despite being a local representative, Jagan Mohan Reddy has made no strides in attracting new industries, resulting in a sense of failure among the constituents.

Furthermore, a significant portion of the constituency’s population, approximately 60-70 percent, are farmers. However, Jagan’s government’s insurance scheme has proven ineffective, failing to support the farming community.

In our villages, the micro-irrigation and drip systems initiated by the previous government with a 90% subsidy have collapsed under Jagan Mohan Reddy’s administration. This neglect has left farmers solely dependent on groundwater borewells for irrigation. Jagan plans to further burden farmers by installing meters on these borewells, increasing costs for the struggling agricultural community.

Despite the Jagan family’s continuous rule in Pulivendula, there is a growing sentiment of discontent among the people. The CM’s lack of respect and responsiveness towards his constituents has fueled anger and frustration among the people.

Also read: Agrarian concerns deepen in Pulivendula

Q. So, last year, the police arrested you for allegedly creating a nuisance during a rally. How do you perceive the state’s actions against you?

A. The police department seemed to favour the Jagan Mohan Reddy government heavily before the election notification. However, due to the intervention of the election commission, there has been a noticeable shift. The balance has been restored, as evidenced by the transfer of the intelligence IG, who was known to support the Chief Minister. Now, it can be said that the police force is at least more balanced in its approach.

Q. What are your thoughts on the schemes implemented by the YSRCP government?

A. Five years ago, when the TDP was in power, they provided better welfare services than the current administration. Jagan has discontinued all the sub-plans for SC and ST communities and is only implementing the Navaratnalu scheme. People perceive his approach as giving with one hand and taking with the other, akin to giving 10 rupees and taking 100 rupees in return.

Related: Avinash gets Jagan clean chit

Q. What are your thoughts on the former MLA from this constituency, YS Vivekananda’s murder, in which the MP candidate from here, Avinash Reddy, is accused?

A. The sentiment among the people is unanimous: they firmly believe that the family is responsible for this crime, and this belief is confirmed. Now, the residents of Pulivendula are considering their vote carefully, understanding that they cannot support individuals with criminal allegations. This sentiment extends beyond our constituency to the entire state, where people are determined to make similar voting decisions.