Ground Report: Telangana PSC gaffe haunts BRS, selfie points and promises fuel BJP’s hopes in Karimnagar

The history of the place is associated with former CM K Chandrashekar Rao, who was elected to Lok Sabha in 2004. In 2006, there was a by-election, which KCR won.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published May 11, 2024 | 4:59 PMUpdatedMay 11, 2024 | 7:24 PM

Ground Report: Telangana PSC gaffe haunts BRS, selfie points and promises fuel BJP’s hopes in Karimnagar

The signs of Smart City in the making are evident as the wide, well-maintained road approaches Karimnagar via Siddipet. The constant honking of vehicles remains a reminder of the transition — from old to new — Karimnagar has been undergoing.

Karimnagar has not completely embraced the new, yet not stuck in the old. It is striding towards progress. The rock formations standing head and shoulders above the city look like watchtowers on the boundary between the past and the future.

Roads to the villages are smooth with swanky cars sharing space with rattling and loud three-wheelers. The spread of tiles contributes to the unique aesthetic of the Lok Sabha constituency.

The recent political history of Karimnagar speaks of former Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who was elected to Lok Sabha in 2004. It also speaks of his demand to develop it as a Smart City.

Karimnagar tends to back different political formations. The people voted for Rao in 2004, 2006, and 2009. The TRS (now BRS) retained the constituency in 2014 with the victory of Boinapalli Vinod Kumar. In 2019, it backed BJP’s Bandi Sanjay Kumar.

Now, the BJP has retained Bandi Sanjay Kumar, while the Congress fielded Velichala Rajender Rao. B Vinod Kumar is the BRS candidate.

Also Read: Hyderabad constituency: Trying to chase a wild goose with wild talk

Employment challenges, struggles

More temples — some new and many under construction — dot the landscape between Vemulawada to Sircilla and Karimnagar. 

Satyanarayana-Tea staller at Karimnagar

Satyanarayana runs a tea stall in Karimnagar (Deepika Pasham/South First)

With the latest Drive-Ins to Flipkart godowns, Karimnagar offers opportunities for youth seeking employment within villages and the district.

However, some aspirants are still awaiting the Telangana State Public Service Commission examinations, which were cancelled twice during the BRS rule.

Satyanarayana, a tea stall owner, offered a cup of tea. “These are the MP elections. Bandi Sanjay has not been seen in the constituency since he won the last time,” he said.

“This is Karimnagar, and he is always in Hyderabad. The people who helped him win in Karimnagar expect him to come and interact with them,” Satyanarayana said.

“There are numerous schemes by PM Modi, and MP candidates should introduce them to us. But he has brought no development to the region,” he added.

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Job first, marriage later 

He then spoke about his family. I have five daughters. Four of them got married after completing tenth and intermediate. They could not pursue education further since we have no scholarship-based institutions.”

His youngest daughter has made her intentions clear. “My fifth daughter has made her stand clear that she will earn and then get married. She has written the TSPSC group exams and qualified, but they were cancelled. Why didn’t any MLA or MP question the cancellation?” Satyanarayana asked.

“I am a daily-wage laborer and my daughter has worked hard and taken courses in Hyderabad. However, the examinations have been cancelled. Let any state or central government conduct the examinations first. My youngest daughter completed her Master’s Degree in Hyderabad, and we are aware of the struggles she had faced,” he added.

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Struggles and hopes

R Saroja was selling household items near Vemulawada, We had to struggle for a livelihood. We shifted from our house to a hut since we were facing losses. But we still managed to transfer our children’s studies to hostel-based institutions in Hyderabad,” she said.

R Saroja, a daily wage laborer selling household items

R Saroja selling household items (Deepika Pasham/ South First)

“We faced losses to the tune of ₹5 to 6 lakh. We approached central government centers where skilling was being taught, but we did not receive any assistance,” she told South First.

“Our elder daughter finished her BTech and is taking undergoing coaching to get hired for a job. That is how our situation will improve,” she said.

“We have not made a decision yet. But we will vote for PM Modi because the ration he is distributing is saving our families,” Saroja said. 

The Union government’s directive to install selfie points featuring cutouts of Prime Minister Narendra at ration shops under the centrally sponsored PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, seemed to have worked.

“However, we have no other commodities distributed along with it and we request the Modi government to ask the ration shops to distribute these commodities,” Saroja added.

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Pushing promises to bylanes

The interesting election campaign that stands out is that of BRS candidate, Boinpally Vinod, who is making schemes and promises.

L Ravi Prasad, and a few women who have returned from work were carrying bags distributed by Vinod. “We are campaigning for the promises B Vinod anna has for the future,” they said on a byline in the village.

“Our children have been promised jobs. Underprivileged students aspire to have Navodaya schools, and we have asked for the development of these skills,” they said.

“Most importantly, the population here needs a government-based packaging unit for low-budget products we make, such as household utensils, etc. We are also assured of a packaging unit,” they continued.

“Other leaders have never fulfilled these promises. They only focus on campaigns about connecting roads and highways, which are not essential for our livelihood,” they added.

Also Read: PM Modi worried after 3rd phase of Lok Sabha polls: Congress chief Mallikrjun Kharge

Rain woes

“Amid heavy rain, people take shelter under small sheds while the police rehearse for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit the next day. The downpour lashes the sheds of the vendors,” a shopkeeper at the Vemulawada temple said.

Heavy rains at Vemulawada

Heavy rains at Vemulawada (Deepika Pasham/ South First)

T Rakesh told South First, ‘I have been running a general store business here for the past ten years, and we desperately need development. Look at the rain and how it has damaged our locality.”

“If it continues to rain, we will have to shut our shops. Bandi Sanjay is the Member of Parliament, and with PM Modi visiting the temple, funds should be allocated for works surrounding the temples,” he said.

(Edited by Shauqueen Mizaj)