Interview: Will work for women and youth says Warangal (SC) Congress candidate Kadiyam Kavya

With a background in medicine, Kadiyam Kavya tells South First she did not want to contest from a party facing allegations in criminal cases.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Apr 25, 2024 | 8:05 AMUpdatedApr 25, 2024 | 11:53 AM

Kadiyam Kavya in a meeting at Warangal (SC).

At the heart of the Scheduled Caste (SC)-reserved Warangal constituency, Kadiyam Kavya steps forward with a fervent dedication.

Drawing inspiration from her father’s illustrious political career, she said she is ready to address her community’s pressing needs.

With a background in medicine and a profound commitment to women’s empowerment, Kadiyam Kavya tells South First that being a newcomer and an intellectual, she did not want to contest from a party facing allegations in criminal cases.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. What sets you apart from your political opponents and makes you the ideal choice for voters?

A. My father (Kadiyam Srihari) has been in politics and won as a Member of the Legislative Assembly when I was in Class 7. He has been in politics from then on, helping lots of people.

He has developed many innovative projects. When he was the education minister, he did a lot of things for people, which inspired me a lot.

I feel that this is one big platform to help people. I can reach up to lakhs and crores of people with my initiatives. That’s why I have decided to join politics.

Q. What initiatives do you have in store for the development of the Warangal (SC) constituency?

A. Being a doctor and a woman, I have faced many issues regarding health, hygiene, and education. We started the Kadiyam Foundation in 2016. Since then, I have been working with government schools.

I used to teach awareness to adolescent girls. We used to distribute free sanitary napkins for students from economically weaker sections of society. There was a point where we distributed 1 lakh number sanitary napkins in government schools. This initiative was the result of my own experience.

Another initiative was providing nutrition kits to pregnant women who were anaemic. My motto is to assist women both in health and education.

Then there is addressing unemployment. We are lacking in opportunities for the youth. Warangal can also become an Information Technology (IT) hub. There is also the Railway Coach Factory that is pending.

I plan to work primarily on these.

Related: Friendly fight to the finish in Warangal (SC) Lok Sabha seat

Q. What motivated you to pursue a seat in Parliament rather than the Legislative Assembly?

A. My father wanted me to contest the Assembly elections and become an MLA. However, BRS announced my father as its candidate in the Assembly elections.

They must not have felt that Kadiyam Kavya was efficient and could give a tough fight to opponents.

But later they must have felt that Kadiyam Kavya was efficient and could give a tough fight to opponents. So they gave me the Lok Sabha ticket.

Q. There have been rumblings about your caste affiliation from groups like the Madiga Reservation Porata Samiti (MRPS) and other senior political leaders. What is your stance as a candidate?

A. A woman candidate is getting the chance to represent the Warangal (SC) constituency in the Lok Sabha after 35 years. Yet, the opponents are talking about my caste.

I have a postgraduate degree and a government job through SC reservation; I do possess the SC certificate.

How would two political parties field me from the reserved seat, if I didn’t belong from the community?

Q. Could you provide some insight into your educational background and family history?

A. I studied MBBS at the Deccan Medical College and did my postgraduation at Osmania Medical College. I got a government job in 2018 in Wardhannapet,  and was working there till November last year.

That was the place from where my current opponent from BJP was an MLA from BRS for the last 10 years. I work under him (Aroori Ramesh) for the constituency.

To him, I belonged to SCs then, but have become non-SC and non-Hindu for him for the elections. He knows everything about me, but he is still questioning my candidature.

Also Read: Telangana is eyeing tier-2, 3 cities for IT expansion

Q. As we know, BJP focuses on religious issues. How should politicians be careful while talking about it?

A. We have been reading since childhood that India is a developing country, and it has not become a developed country yet. For India to grow, we need to focus on the real issues.

We know that we love and worship Lord Rama. But BJP is manipulating the people. It wants to change the Constitution and remove reservations. It wants to make the lives of SCs, Scheduled Tribes (STs), women and minorities — such as Christians and Muslims — miserable.

It has been doing this over the past few years, and yet this issue is not in the limelight.

I believe politicians should work towards progress. All these religious conflicts and issues are like fighting each other and not focusing on the future generations.

Q. Could you elaborate on the circumstances leading to your departure from BRS?

A. BRS gave me a ticket on 13 March to contest from Warangal. However, my mind had been made up before this. I withdrew from BRS on 29 March.

In the weeks since then, I have seen many changes. Many allegations have been levelled against BRS and its leaders since Congress formed a government in Telangana.

Being a newcomer, educated, an intellectual, and a doctor, I could not go to people as a BRS candidate and ask for their votes. People would have told me the party chief’s daughter was involved in the Delhi liquor scam, while other leaders were accused in the phone-tapping scandal, and MLAs illegally grabbed lands.

What I mentioned in my withdrawal letter is very true. The local leader’s coordination was also poor as well.

After submitting the letter, we received backlash from the cadre, which was unexpected, because my father had been vocal in the Assembly for BRS against Congress. Hence we decided to quit the BRS party.

Related: Strange political shifts mark Lok Sabha race for Warangal (SC)

Q. Were you approached by Congress after your exit from BRS?

A. A couple of days after we quit BRS, All India Congress Committee (AICC) leaders visited us and invited us to join Congress.

AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge was a colleague of my father Kadiyam Srihari, who was one of the irrigation ministers in undivided Andhra Pradesh when Mallikarjun Kharge was the irrigation minister in Karnataka.

They had meetings a couple of times and opined that Kadiyam Srihari would be the people’s politician. That’s how we got the invite.

Q. What is the perception of the people you meet on the ground during campaigns?

A. All seven Congress MLAs of Warangal are competing to deliver a bigger success than the Assembly elections because Chief Minister Revanth Reddy has promised more funds to whoever gets a bigger majority.

As for the people, they are happy with the introduction of five of the six of Congress’ pre-poll guarantees. They are hopeful that Congress will implement all the promises.

The party’s national manifesto is also beneficial for all sections of society.

(Edited by Arkadev Ghoshal)